There are marked differences in the economies of each Spanish region. Madrid is the undisputed centre of banking and finance, while Barcelona is renowned for big industry, with a significant number of domestic funds targeting this region. Catalana d’Iniciatives, Aurica XXI and Granville are all focused on opportunities in the Catalua region. The technology opportunities that are cropping up in Spain are most likely to be found in both the Madrid and Valencia regions, while the Basque region is the home of more medium-sized companies.
A player making the most of opportunities throughout the Iberia region, Baring Private Equity Partners Espaa (BPEP) is headquartered in Madrid with offices in Valencia, Asturias and Murcia. Since the division was set up in 1987, the team has acquired a network of local knowledge that is fundamental when operating in this region. To its advantage, the firm manages funds at a local, national and European level, allowing it to cover a wide range of investment opportunities. These include regional funds of E30 million targeting Valencia, Murcia and Asturias; the E60 million Baring Iberia I Fund and European funds under management in Spain of E200 million. A second Iberia fund is planned for 2002 with a target of E100 million.
Investment manager, David Baker stresses the advantage of the diversity of BPEP’s Spanish funds. For example, he says the local deal flow generated from the regional funds is further strengthened by capital drawn from the firm’s pan European funds.