Norwegian fund reaches close

Ferd Private Equity Fund reached a first closing on target at NOK1.25bn, making it the largest PE fund in Norway. Norwegian industrial group, Ferd is the largest investor in the fund. The first closing of the fund was targeted at Norwegian investors including Orkla and Storebrand Livsforsikring. The second and final closing of the fund will also target international investors, which have already shown an interest.

Ferd Equity Partners is the exclusive advisor to the fund, and is managed by three managing partners, Gert Munthe, tore Rynning-Nielsen and Morten Blix.

The fund will acquire established Norwegian and Nordic companies with positive cash flow and it will always control over 50% of the equity in its portfolio, preferably over 90%. Equity investments will be in the range of NOK100m to NOK400m.

FErd Private Equity has already made two investments in Collett Pharma, acquired from Nycomed Pharma and Pronova Biocare from Norsk Hydro. These companies were acquired in January 2004 and are developing positively.

The fund is structured as a Jersey Limited Partnership in line with international fund structure standards to be able to attract international investors and competence.

Gert Munthe, said: “There is a clear need for such a player in the Norwegian capital market. There is a significant number of venture groups in Norway, focusing on transactions below NOK100m.”