(Bloomberg) -- Investment manager Partners Group Holding AG is planning to raise as much as 5 billion euros ($5.8 billion) for its fourth buyout fund, people familiar with the matter said.

The firm plans to start raising the new fund, Partners Group Direct Equity 2019, as early as next year, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private. In parallel, the asset manager could raise cash via separate accounts and other Partners’ funds that also have allocations to direct private equity investments.

Private equity firms are attracting record amounts of cash for new funds as a decade-old markets rally fuels returns and investor appetite for the asset class. Partners will join the ranks of Cinven and Permira who are expected to begin raising 8 billion euros and 10 billion euros for their next funds, respectively, from investors.

The Baar, Switzerland-based manager raised 3 billion for its last buyout fund in 2017 with an additional 3 billion euros from investors in other vehicles that wanted a proportion of their commitments allocated to direct private equity deals. In addition to private equity, Partners has funds dedicated to investing in infrastructure, private debt and real estate.

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The firm, which has invested about 70 percent of the 6 billion it got in 2017, has made a number of deals this year including the 4.6 billion euro purchase of smart meter business Techem GmbH and the 2 billion euro acquisition of Megadyne SpA and Ammeraal Beltech Holding BV. This year, Partners also exited VAT Group AG at a gross return of about six-times its initial investment and Trimco International at a gross return of more than three-times.

A representative for Partners Group declined to comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Syed in London at ssyed35@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Dinesh Nair at dnair5@bloomberg.net, Christian Baumgaertel, Dale Crofts

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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