Gilde fund hits €600m

Dutch private equity investor Gilde Investment Management has closed its third buyout fund, the first since the firm spun out of Rabobank last year.

Gilde Buy Out Partners raised its target of €600m, and will focus on investments in the Benelux, and French and German speaking regions. The fund attracted 30 investors, 76% of which were returning investors from Gilde Buy Out Fund II, a €375m fund that closed in 2001.

Access Capital Partners, the Kuwait Investment Office and Proventure all returned, as well as Rabobank, the cornerstone investor. Among the new investors are two US pension funds, GE Pension Trust and New York State Common Retirement Fund; CAM Private Equity, a German fund-of-funds; Scottish Widows; Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen (Helaba); and F&C Asset Management.

Gilde Buy Out Fund II will continue to follow the strategy of its preceding funds, namely concentrating on the mid-market space. It will also consider being part of a consortium on larger deals by co-investing with some of its LPs.

Two investments have been made so far: Heiploeg, a Dutch shrimp company, and Walter TeleMedien Group, a German telemarketing firm.

The firm has three offices, in the Netherlands, France and Switzerland, and is staffed by a 16-strong investment team. To date, Gilde Buy Out Partners has invested in 47 companies, realised 32 and generated an IRR in excess of 37% and a consistent average cash multiple of 2.5x.

Natascha Jacobovits de Szeged, investor relations officer, said: “Gilde has attracted strong investor support because of its consistent returns and focused investment strategy. It has stuck to the niche it knows well with a deal focus that has been profitable over multiple economic cycles. GBO III is approximately 20% larger than its predecessor vehicle and was oversubscribed beyond its hard cap of €600m. Many investors who are seeking to diversify away from the UK and get more regional European exposure have invested in Gilde.”