Spanish firm makes first investment

A consortium led by Spanish mid-market house ProA Capital has invested in Grupo Palacios, a La Rioja-based food company.

The first deal by the firm’s maiden fund, ProA Capital Iberian Buyout Fund I, it was joined in the transaction by Partners Group, the Swiss alternative asset manager, and Talde, an investor in small and medium-sized companies. ProA has the controlling stake in the business.

The deal was backed by a six-strong banking syndicate: BNP Paribas, Santander, BBVA, La Caixa, Caja Madrid and IKB.

Palacios has been around since 1983, and has a produce portfolio which spans the entire food sector. In 2008 it generated revenues in excess of €135m and a staff of 500. The money raised from this deal will be used to accelerate growth both organically and through acquisitions, and includes plans to expand the company’s reach in private label products and chilled foods, such as pizzas and prepared meals.

Lead investor ProA Capital was founded in 2008 and closed its first fund in April of that year, with €250m raised. The firm targets companies with an enterprise value between €25m and €200m.