Hardt increases PE activity

Austria-based alternative investment firm Hardt Group and UK-based Kingsbridge Capital are combining their businesses to form Hardt Group Capital Partners. Hardt Group Investments is the majority shareholder in the new company.

Hardt Group launched its first private equity offering in November 2004, the Hardt Group Private Equity Partners I Fund, with significant initial funding from the Hardt Group. The fund has a target of between €200m and €250m and is investing in buyout transactions and the distressed debt market with a focus on media and the consumer goods sector in Europe.

The fund made its first acquisition this spring, acquiring the debt of Kunert, a producer of socks and stockings in the German market. Deutsche Bank and Trafalgar Asset Managers were also involved in that transaction.

Kingsbridge Capital is an asset management group with a main focus on direct private equity investments, distressed debt and fund-of-funds mid-cap opportunities. The firm was founded at the end of 2003 by Mathias Hink, former director at Dresdner Kleinwort Capital in London, and by Ion Florescu, former partner of e-millennium, a Deutshce Bank affiliated fund.