Spanish Firm Raises $575 Million Fund Of Funds

Altamar Private Equity, a three-year-old firm that has quietly raised €725 million ($1 billion) from Spanish investors, has closed its second private equity fund of funds at €420 million ($575 million).

Look for the freshly raised pool to be deployed in 15 to 20 partnerships—for the most part a mix of mid-market and large-cap buyout funds managed by firms based in the United States and Europe. Altamar is easily capable of handing a $50 million slug to the right general partner, according to a source familiar with the effort. It has backed such U.S. groups as Advent International, The Blackstone Group, The Carlyle Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.; in Europe it has backed such groups as Alchemy Partners, 3i Group, BC Partners, Candover, Charterhouse Capital Partners, Chequers, Doughty Hanson & Co. and Permira Advisers LLP.

Complex tax rules have kept many Spanish investors on the private equity sidelines over the years, but Altamar has found a way to crack the code, our source said. Taking advantage of pent-up demand, the firm has attracted money from pension funds, insurance companies, banks and families. Its backers include Banco Santander, one of the world’s largest banks, and Telefónica S.A., one of the world’s largest telephone companies, our source said.

The closing of Altamar Global Buyout FCR last month gives the firm two funds of funds under its belt. Last year it closed Altamar European Buyout FCR at €305 million. The firm also recently set out to raise €250 million for Private Equity Real Estate, which is to be deployed by a new management company called Altan Capital SGIIC; Altan Capital SGIIC will, in turn, be run jointly by Altamar and real estate specialist AguirreNewman. Altan Capital plans to back 10 to 15 real estate investment funds located in Europe and elsewhere around the world.

Founding Altamar Private Equity in 2004 were Claudio Aguirre, formerly head of European investment banking at Merrill Lynch & Co.; Mariano Olaso, formerly a founding partner of Vista Capital, a Spanish private equity firm; and José Luis Molina, formerly a senior member of the European team of Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking.

Correction: The original headline on this story incorrectly cited a figure of €575 million; the correct figure is $575 million. Also, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. was incorrectly called Kohlberg Kravis & Co.