GIMV Unveils International Ambitions

GIMV, the Flanders-based investment group in October announced a BFr 4 billion (ecu 100 million) raft of commitments to international funds, signalling the group’s intention to develop into a significant force outside its domestic market. Three of the fund investments, in Sofinnova Capital III (story, page 13), Galileo II and REL-Club Deal, involve France-focused funds. GIMV will also invest in Caisse de Depot et Placement de Quebec’s Asia Equity Infrastructure Fund. The Belgian group also plans to launch its own funds for investment in the Czech Republic and South East Asia.

GIMV has been an active investor outside its domestic market for some considerable time, but until now, the group has chiefly acted as a co-investor.

As it steps up its international activities, GIMV will now adopt a more active role – its chosen term is “co-initiator” – in its alliances, as demonstrated by the arrangements made with its new international partners.

As well as committing FFr 15 million (ecu 2.3 million) each to the FFr 600 million Sofinnova Capital III and FFr 500 million Galileo II vehicles, GIMV will actively co-invest with Sofinnova and Galileo in selected projects.

GIMV has allocated FFr 120 million (ecu 18 million) for investment in buyouts introduced by the specialist MBO management group REL as part of a three strong investor club: Bank of Boston and a third party, yet to be identified, will each commit the same amount. REL will introduce deals to the participants, who will make their investment decisions on a case-by-case basis.

GIMV’s $10 million (ecu 8.4 million) investment in the $400 million Asia Equity Infrastructure Fund will enhance the group’s market penetration as it works to establish its own $60 million South East Asia fund, which is scheduled to begin operations during the course of 1999. Opportunities for the GIMV fund will be sourced via an agreement with the Nippon Investment & Finance Company and the Walden Group, both of whom are long-standing members of GIMV’s international network.

The GIMV Czech Republic fund, which is scheduled for launch at the end of 1999, will have a target of ecu 25 million. GIMV, which has already established a team in the Czech Republic, itself will commit ecu 15 million to the fund.

GIMV, a listed investment company has net assets totalling approximately BFr 75.4 billion.