ABN, BNP spin out PE shops

Management teams at ABN Amro Capital, Banexi Ventures and Banexi Capital Partenaires have taken majority stakes in their respective companies.

ABN Amro Capital, the mid-market private equity investor, has sold its entire German investments portfolio to three members of its management team – Pieter Davidson, Christof Namenyi and Henk Dröge. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In an interview with PrivateEquityOnline, Davidson said that while the new company, DDN Capital Partners, would be truly independent, ABN Amro would continue to play a meaningful role in the new company’s future.

Davidson said that the six portfolio companies being taken over would be grown organically and by add-on acquisition, but no new companies would be added to the current portfolio.

DDN will look to raise a new fund in Q2 or Q3 of 2005, likely to have a target of €100 million ($121 million) according to Davidson. The fund will look to invest between €50 – €100 million in companies in German-speaking countries.

In other news, BNP Paribas, France’s largest listed bank, has reduced its stakes in two of its private equity operations – Banexi Capital Partenaires and Banexi Ventures to 49 percent and 35 percent respectively.

Michel Dahan, chairman of venture capital firm, Banexi Ventures was keen to stress that the move was not about “gaining independence” from their sponsors BNP Paribas, but about continuing to work with them as partners.

The management team will hold 65 percent of Banexi Ventures (via a structure set up last year) so Dahan reckoned there would be “no change going forward.”

Banexi is currently investing from Banexi Ventures III, a €150 million fund closed in July 2000 and Dahan confirmed that the firm is likely to be back in the market in 2005 to raise new money.

Banexi Capital is a mid-market leveraged buyout firm led by Michel Rowan with management now taking a 51 percent stake in the business.

It is understood that BNP Paribas will continue to be the main sponsor of both companies, investing up to 30 percent of future funds.

In 2002, BNP spun out private equity business PAI Management, although full divestments of the Banexi companies are not anticipated at this stage.

Earlier this month, international private equity manager Baring Private Equity Partners announced its own buyout from Dutch parent bank ING Group. The new firm will trade as BPEP International.