Spanish buyout specialist Mercapital has sold its stake in cheese manufacturer Garcia Baquero for an undisclosed sum. Management has acquired Mercapital’s 16.7 per cent stake, which it bought in 1996 for €9.62 million to help the company with its expansion plans.
In 1999 the company was hoping to list on the Spanish stock exchange, but failed due to unfavourable market conditions. Subsequently, the company embarked on an aggressive expansion drive acquiring 5 per cent of wine producer Arco Bodegas Unidas and 5 per cent of Occidental Hoteles. It also invested €57 million in two new factories in Zamora and Alcazar de San Juan.
Mercapital, along with co-investor Caja Madrid, is also looking to sell its stake in logistics company Grupo Logistico Santos.
Headline: EIF brings Pentech Ventures to target
Byline: Angela Sormani
Pentech Ventures, the Glasgow-based early stage fund focused on software investments in the UK has closed above target at £22.5 million, following a final commitment from the European Investment Fund of over £5 million.
Pentech was launched at a time when many investors were taking a step back from investing in early stage software companies. Founder Eddie Anderson said: “I’m delighted that EIF has invested in Pentech Ventures. The fund raising climate is extremely difficult, and so to exceed our fund raising target, with an investor of this quality, demonstrates that we have a strong business model, and the team in place to carry it forward.”
Pentech Ventures was launched in July 2001 with an original target of between £15 million and £20 million. Around £12 million in commitments comes from Penta Capital, the fund’s manager. Penta Capital was formed in late 1999 and in April 2001 closed its first fund with commitments totalling £130 million. The fund has a focus on UK and Irish mid-market companies.
Pentech is investing between £250,000 and £1 million in early stage technology companies that have created strong intellectual property with high software content. The focus will be on voice, infrastructure, telecoms, development tools, publishing and software solutions and financial analysis tools.
Pentech’s investment process uses an advisory group of five technology entrepreneurs based both in the UK and the US with experience of building start-up technology ventures through to IPO or trade sale. To date, Pentech has completed four investments totalling £4.5 million in Applied Generics, an Edinburgh-based mobile location company; Rhetorical Systems, the Edinburgh University spin-out text-to-speech firm; Automsoft, a Dublin-based provider of advanced database solutions to process industries and Aircraft Management Technologies, an aviation industry software provider, also based in Dublin.
Eddie Anderson said of investment opportunities: “Our deal flow is exceptionally strong and the outlook for the fund is very encouraging.”