Abris hits €450m hard-cap for follow-up fund(2)

Abris, a Central and Eastern European focused firm, has attracted 21 investors from the US, Australia and the Middle East for its second fund – despite not yet registering any exits from its debut vehicle.

Warsaw-headquartered Abris Capital Partners has reached its hard-cap of €450 million on Abris II, exceeding its original €400 million target. 

A total of 21 investors invested in the fund, compared to 18 in the previous fund. Approximately half the investors were European institutions, with other half coming from the US, Australia and the Middle East, according to a statement. 

More than half of the LPs in Fund I re-upped, Neil Milne, one of Abris co-founders, told Private Equity International – despite the fact Abris has not yet made an exit since the firm was created in 2007.    

However, Milne insisted Fund I’s portfolio was “performing well”. Many of the firm’s LPs “are very familiar with the progress of our individual portfolio companies, so they can see the value building process is working,” he said. “Had we wanted to, we probably could have completed a sale or two in the 2010-12 timeframe but the selling environment was challenging … I think our LPs know this, and saw the logic of delaying exits until likely valuations improved.” 

Despite reaching the hard-cap, fundraising wasn’t easy, Milne admitted. “It has been quite a tough environment, and the decision-taking cycle for most LPs has certainly slowed,” he said. “But we believe that we have an investment proposition which, if properly explained, does appeal to international investors looking for a European growth story. Around half of the Fund II commitments have come from European investors, who can see at close quarters the economic success of Central and Eastern Europe relative to Western Europe.” 

Abris Fund II has made four investments so far. The most recent deal was the buyout of Cargus, a Romanian parcel delivery business, from Deutsche Post in October 2012. 

Abris used two placement agents: The Hague-based Atlantic Bridge for European investors, and Liberty Global for non-European investors.