ARGUS beats target for second fund

ARGUS Capital Partners, the London headquartered Central and Eastern European private equity fund, has exceeded its €200m target for its second fund, raising €213m at its second closing for ARGUS Capital Partners II.

The bulk of the investors in the new fund are returning from its predecessor, and include pension funds, fund of funds, banks and family offices in North America, Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. ARGUS held a first closing on €164m in December 2005 and is expected to announce a final closing towards the end of 2006.

The new fund will continue to follow the investment strategy of the first: it will be a generalist fund, focusing on expansion and development capital, buyouts, joint ventures and recaps in Central and Eastern Europe, with no preference. The fund will typically commit between €4m and €20m in each investment, generally taking controlling shareholding positions, including board representation. In certain circumstances the fund will take minority positions, pursuant to the presence of minority protection rights.

The second closing of ARGUS Capital Partners II comes shortly after the first fund sold Svoboda Press, the largest commercial printer in the Czech Republic, to EuroDruck Service for an undisclosed sum. ARGUS made a 3.9x return on investment, generating an IRR of 25%.

Ali Artunkal, managing partner of ARGUS, said: “We have now completed three successful full exits from our first fund and continue to see an attractive pipeline of new investment opportunities, which underline a strong investment and exit environment for private equity in Central and Eastern Europe. We are very pleased to have exceeded our target for Fund II, which demonstrates the institutional appetite for private equity in the region.”