Accent seeks new investors for fund

Accent Equity Partners, the Nordic mid-market private equity firm, is to reach out to new investors as it prepares to launch the next phase of its fundraising for Accent Equity 2003.

Nordic mid-market private equity investor Accent Equity Partners is hoping to attract new backers as it heads towards a second closing of its debut fund.

The firm, which was formed from the merger of private equity houses Euroventures and Nordico in April 2003, achieved a first closing of E75m in August, plus an additional E25m in co-investment commitments. All investors at that stage – including the Sixth AP Fund and Dansk Kapitalanlaeg – had backed previous Euroventures or Nordico funds.

The firm is currently working on its Private Placement Memorandum ahead of hitting the next leg of the fundraising trail on October 20. ‘We will approach other Nordic investors but also those based in the UK and continental Europe’, said Jan Ohlsson, chief executive of Accent. In a sign that pragmatism is high on the agenda amid tough fundraising conditions, a spokesman for the firm confirmed that the final target for the fund was now E200m – compared with an original stated target of E200m to E300m.

However, Ohlsson struck an upbeat tone when asked about the fund’s prospects. ‘It depends on what the offering is as to whether the fundraising environment is too tough’, he said. ‘We feel there is strong interest in our proposition, which might not be the case for others – such as those in the early-stage arena or who don’t have a credible track record’.

Ohlsson maintains that the firm operates in a less competitive arena than the larger deal market that a number of former mid-market firms in the region appear to have migrated to. The firm targets investments of E5m and E30m and recently completed its first deal with an E11m investment in Cefar, the Swedish medical equipment group.