07/01/02 – Deal Round-up

Swapcom secures E7.4m second round funding; Scottish pharmaceutical group takes £15m; ABN AMRO invests in Irish software house.

Swapcom secures E7.4m second round funding

Swapcom, a French software house developing mobile applications, has secured E4.7m second round funding from a group of investors including SPEF Venture, Banque Vizille, Part’Com (CDC) and Suddinova.

The company received its first round of financing in September 2000, when Part’Com and Suddinova Ventures invested around E2.3m.

Scottish pharmaceutical group takes £15m

Strakan Group, the international speciality pharmaceutical company based in Scotland has completed a £15m rights issue. Under the terms of the funding round, some £15m has been invested in the company from existing institutional shareholders, Warburg Pincus and LMS Capital, as well as from non-institutional shareholders and employees.

Seven months earlier, the company took £30.5m funding from Warburg Pincus, LMS Capital and 3i.

ABN AMRO invests in Irish software house

ABN Amro Capital, the private equity arm of the Dutch bank, has led a E10m funding in Fineos, the Irish banking software firm. The money raised will be used to further the company’s European and US expansion, strengthen its sales force and expand research and development.

Other investors include Enterprise Ireland, the Allied Irish Bank Information Technology Fund, and Fineos directors and employees. The deal marks ABN Amro Capital’s first investment in an Irish software company.

Heptagon and Cornerstone back software MBO

German VCs Heptagon Capital and Cornerstone Capital, have backed the management buyout of SER Banking-Software Solutions, the German subsidiary of SER Systems, marking the first such deal in Germany for 2002. The exact details of the deal have not been disclosed, but it is understood that the two firms now own a majority stake in the SER unit. Management provided the bulk of the investment and the rest was financed by an acquisition loan.

Heptagon Capital, based in Hamburg, invests on behalf of German privately owned savings and loans banks, with limited partners including Hamburg Sparkesse and Berlin Sparkesse. Typically the firm invests between E1m and E5m. CornerstoneCapital, established in April last year by two directors from 3i, invests between E2m to E10m in technology-related deals, and around E5m to E15m in MBOs.

Sovereign leads £8m funding in Promanex Capital

Mid-market private equity firm Sovereign Capital has led an £8m expansion funding of industrial support services company Promanex Group. The company provides support services to the UK’s energy, process and industrial markets with such clients as PowerGen and Scottish Power.

Sovereign has committed £3.95m, with Bank of Scotland providing debt finance. Sovereign has now invested a total of £5.2m in the business, which it backed in a £1.25m management buyout in December 1999.