BT Alex Brown Moves Into European Fund Placement

Capitalising on US investors’ interest in European funds, BT Alex Brown’s placement agency has signed on its first two Europe-based buyout funds and is marketing them to both US and international limited partners.

Butler Capital Partners, a Paris-based private equity firm in May sent out offer documents for France Private Equity II LP, which has a goal of FFr 900 million (ecu 136 million). BT managing director Charles Daugherty said the firm expected to raise 50% of the capital in the US, with the balance from European and Middle Eastern investors.

Butler targets acquisitions of controlling positions in middle-market companies in France and the Benelux countries. Its previous fund raised $30 million (ecu 27 million), although when co-investments from participants are taken into account, the total deployed was closer to $80 million, Charles Daugherty said.

BT is also marketing Excel Capital Partners III for Excel Partners (story, page 6), which has a maximum target of Pta 18 billion (ecu 107 million) for investment in Span and Portugal.

While Excel and Butler are not BT’s first forays into international fund raising – BT has raised capital internationally for recent funds from CEA Capital Partners, Dimeling Schreiber & Park and Evercore Partners – they are the first funds the placement agency has handled for European general partners.

“We are clearly seeing a lot of demand from both US limiteds and other international investors for country-specific European funds”, Charles Daugherty said. The BT European placement team currently has four professionals operating out of offices in London and Geneva. The group plans to add two other professionals to the team in the near future.