Acto smashes target

The new darling of private equity, the mid-market, looks set to be the benefactor of investments from this latest mezzanine fund. Acto Mezzanine provides mezzanine financing for businesses, primarily for buyouts, in lower mid-market companies in France.

The fund brings together a wide range of French investors including insurance companies, pension funds, banking institutions, fund-of-funds and family offices. Groupama, the insurance group, is the sponsor of the fund and accounts for 40% of total commitment.

While conducting the fund raising, Acto Mezzanine structured and arranged six transactions in 2007 for a total amount of €60m evenly split between sponsored deals and sponsorless transactions.

Acto Mezzanine FCPR focuses on sponsorless transactions mainly of secondary management buyouts with enterprise value ranges from €20m to €150m. In these transactions, the buyout managers become majority shareholders by making a substantial reinvestment.

Acto Mezzanine structured and arranged two sponsorless transactions in 2007: Legallais Bouchard (BtoB hardware distribution by mail order selling) and Delpharm (pharmaceutical contract manufacturing outsourcing).

Acto Mezzanine is led by Eric Gallerne and Serge Palleau. The team is made up of six experienced professionals with backgrounds in private equity, consulting and transaction services.

Serge Palleau, a director of Acto Mezzanine, said: “Acto Mezzanine’s successful fund raising reflects the appetite from investors in mezzanine funds focusing on the lower mid-market. Investors were also attracted by the focus on sponsorless mezzanine, a market segment with a bright future”.

Established in 2006, Acto Mezzanine is a team sponsored by Finama Private Equity, a subsidiary of Groupama, the French insurance mutual company managing more than €80bn of assets.