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BAEPE closes 2nd European fund

Banc of America Equity Partners Europe (BAEPE) has closed its second fund at E590 million, more than half of which (E300 million) has already been invested. This brings the total of BAEPE’s funds under management to over E790 million, raised exclusively from Bank of America. William Obenshain, managing partner of BAEPE, said: “Our new fund benefits from both our global network and our substantial expertise in specific countries and regions around Europe.

As always, our approach will be to partner with talented management teams and utilise the skills of our professionals in Europe to produce significant long-term value for our portfolio companies.”

BAEPE is looking to invest in growth/expansion capital, LBOs and recapitalisations across western and central Europe. The fund has already made investments in Germany, Sweden, Spain and the UK. It is also looking at businesses in France, Poland, and Hungary and, has recently opened an office in Milan, Italy. The sectors preferred by the investor are communications, media, speciality manufacturing, distribution, logistics, business services and outsourcing sectors. Typically it invests between E20 million and E100 million and anticipates exiting investments after three to seven years.

In 1996, BAEPE first raised a European fund of E200 million through its partnership with the Principal Investing division of Bank of America. Since then the company has invested E500 million in more than 20 companies throughout Europe. It employs 15 investment professionals in London, Frankfurt, Warsaw and Milan.

The second fund started making investments in 1999 and Obenshain expects it will be fully invested in around 15 companies over the next couple of years. He added that BAEPE was under no pressure to invest the capital and would choose opportunities carefully. “Compared to the first fund BAEPE’s investment policy is more developed, more sophisticated and with a more defined strategic and geographic focus.” The fund’s portfolio includes ETR Group (Sweden), Porcelanatto (Spain) and Kabel NRW (Germany).