GSC aims for Europe?s largest mezz fund

GSC Partners Europe is well on its way to achieving its goal of raising the largest European mezzanine fund, having successfully raised $660 million at its second closing.

GSC European Mezzanine Fund was launched in March last year, intending to be the largest mezzanine fund dedicated to Europe. It announced its first closing in July at $436 million.

At final closing, which is planned for the end of the second quarter, the fund aims to have reached between $800 million and $1 billion on the equity side, with leverage of half of that amount that will be added to the total amount.

The two lead investors in the fund are Citigroup and Michael Dell of Dell Computers, who has committed capital through his investment company MSD.

A good portion of the fund has come from the US, but there have also been commitments from investors in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

The emphasis will be on investments in medium to large size deals, investing between $30 million minimum and $250 million maximum.

Christine Vanden Beukel, managing director of GSC Partners Europe, said: “This is a great time for mezzanine funds with tightening bank credit and increasing private equity activity occurring in Europe.”

The fund has already made one investment to date. Vanden Beukel adds: “The pipeline is great. We are very happy with deal flow and the momentum of the fund. We can see light at the end of the tunnel.”