Ex-Wayzata executives launch firm to target European opportunities

  • Eyeing $200 mln to $250 mln for debut fund
  • Focus on special situations in Europe
  • Two execs spun out of Wayzata

The winding down of Wayzata Investment Partners has spurred the creation of at least two new firms.

Executive John McEvoy left last year and formed Neponset Bay Capital to invest in distressed assets in aviation, forest products and shipping.

Now comes word that two executives from Wayzata’s European investment team left to start their own shop, Hoplon Investment Partners. Hoplon, based in London, will invest in European special situations, sources said.

Hoplon was formed by Luca Severo and Sven Hansen. Severo was a principal at Wazyata since 2011, his LinkedIn profile shows. Hansen, a principal at Wayzata, worked at the firm since 2010, prior to which he worked at Lazard.

It’s not clear whether Hoplon’s debut fund is in the market. The firm is targeting $200 million to $250 million for the debut pool, an LP with knowledge of the firm said.

Severo did not return a request for comment.

Wayzata is likely to wind down operations, sources have told Buyouts.

Minnesota-based Wayzata spun out from Cargill in 2004. It is led by Patrick Halloran, who also controls MAP Holdings LLC, Wayzata’s majority owner. As of Sept. 30, 2017, the firm managed about $2.7 billion in assets, its Form ADV shows.

Wayzata’s most recent fund, Wayzata Opportunities Fund III, closed on $2.7 billion in 2013, beating its $2.5 billion target. That was down from the firm’s second fund, which closed on $3.4 billion. Wayzata’s debut fund closed on about $1.2 billion in 2005, according to Palico.

Action Item: Check out Wayzata’s Form ADV here: http://bit.ly/2AbH7UB

London, Tower Bridge; Photo courtesy of TomasSereda/iStock/Getty Images