Spain: investments up

Spanish investments were up for the first half of the year reaching €418m, up 26% from the same time the previous year, according to ASCRI, the Spanish venture capital association. If the number of incomplete deals in the pipeline close before year-end the association predicts over €1bn will have been invested during 2003.

Of the 183 deals completed in the first half of the year, 105 were new investments and 78 were follow-on rounds. As ever in the Spanish market, growth capital accounted for the lion’s share of investment with 62% followed by buyouts and replacement capital with 32% and 5.2% was dedicated to turnaround situations.

The hotel and leisure sector was the most popular sector in the first half of the year accounting for 25.8% of the amount invested. This was followed by the transport sector with 14.4% and energy with 13.8% of investments, respectively.

New funds raised were up 54% from €277m in the first half of 2002 to €427m for the same period this year. The majority of this (€175m) was raised by Nmas 1 Private Equity. Almost 90% of these funds raised were committed to established players, while the remainder was attracted by five newcomers to the market.

Divestments reached a total of €164m from 113 transactions, of which 58 were complete and 55 were partially realised. A landmark exit for the period was the sale of Advent International’s holding in Spanish pharmaceuticals firm, Alcala Farma. The transaction involved two separate deals with the generics division of the company being sold to Pliva Pharma holding and the branded products division going to Chiesi Espana, the Spanish arm of Italy’s Chiesi Farmaecutici. Chiesi acquired UK-based Trinity Pharmaceuticals from Advent in 1999. Advent invested $20m in Alcala Farma in 1999 and generated a return of almost two times its investment.