Baring Private Equity Partners (BPEP) España is to take on the management of part of Caixa d’Estalvis de Catalunya’s direct private equity portfolio. Caixa Catalunya, Spain’s third largest savings bank, has invested over €27 million since it began its private equity activities two or three years ago. Its main focus has been start-ups and early stage expansion. The bank is now looking to increase it private equity exposure.
As part of the deal Caixa Catalunya has acquired a 45 per cent stake in BPEP España and will also act as a cornerstone investor in the fund it is currently raising. Baring Iberia II Fund was launched in February and is hoping to raise between €100 million and €150 million to invest in development capital, early stage and small buyout deals. A first close is anticipated before the end of the year.
José Angel Sarasa, senior partner at BPEP España, said: “Caixa Catalunya’s substantial investment in BPEP España is recognition of our position as one of the most established providers of private equity capital in the Spanish market. Caixa Catalunya’s strong presence in the Catalan region completes our domestic footprint in Spain, which includes the management of regional funds in Valencia, Murcia andAsturias.”
BPEP España manages private equity funds for BPEP, which is part of the ING group. Operating in Spain since 1987, the firm manages Spanish funds worth over €80 million, including the €60 million Baring Iberia I Fund raised in 1999 which is almost fully invested. Caixa Catalunya was an investor in this fund with Spanish and Portuguese banks Caja Duero, Caja Asturias, Caixa d’Estalvis de Terrassa, Montepío Geral and the European Investment Bank. BPEP España has offices in Madrid and Valencia and manages a portfolio of 50 investments.