In brief top news

Vista Capital has acquired 100% of the toy manufacturer Fábricas Agrupadas de Munecas de Onil Sociedad Anonima (Famosa), in a secondary buyout valued at around €150m (US$186m). The vendors were Torreal, Inveralia, Ahorro Corporacion and Caja de Ahorros del Mediterraneo, which held 77% of the shares, and the management team, which held the remainder. Vista Capital sourced the deal through an auction organised by Lazard, in which 3i, Apax, Mercapital and CVC participated.

  • Butler Capital Partners (BCP) has held the first and final close of €325m on its France Private Equity III fund. The Paris-based mid-market specialist had an initial target of €300m. Roughly 50% of the commitments came from North American investors, about 40% from European investors and around 10% from Asia. Of the funds raised from new investors, the majority of the commitments came from prominent foundations and endowment funds.

The fund will take controlling stakes in companies with enterprise values ranging from €50m to €300m. Butler Capital Partners, which is led by Walter Butler, one of the founders of the French buyout industry, specialises in €10m–€75m investments in underperforming companies, complex situations and turnarounds.

  • Rabobank, the Dutch co-operative bank, is selling private equity group Gilde to its management team. The move ends a decade-long association with the mid-market Benelux-based investor that was initially acquired in 1996. The private equity outfit has €1.5bn in funds under management and employs 34 staff.

In a statement, Hans ten Cate, member of the executive board of Rabobank Group, said: “Independence will place Gilde Investment Management in a stronger position to attract investors. Rabobank will, however, continue to invest in Gilde funds.”

Boudewijn Molenaar, chairman of the board of Gilde Investment Management, added: “We are pleased that we have been able to reach an agreement with Rabobank. This arrangement provides Gilde with greater scope to further expand its leading position in the market for large and medium-sized buy-outs.”

Gilde Investment Management focuses on situations involving business successions, buyouts and the growth of innovative companies. Gilde provides the companies it invests in with access to a network of entrepreneurs, sparring partners and advisers. Rabobank will continue to make investments in unquoted Dutch companies through Rabo Private Equity, which focuses on minority participating interests and currently has invested capital of €150m.