Activa Capital, the Paris-based private equity house backed by Hermes Investment Management, has taken its team of investment professionals to seven with the appointment of Christophe Parier as an investment director.
Parier joins the firm from Royal Bank Private Equity France (RBPE France), where he worked on the firm's French MBO portfolio. Previously he spent three years at 3i France, working within the firm's MBO team.
Charles Diehl, one of Activa's four partners, said that he was looking forward to Parier making an immediate contribution to the firm's deal execution process. The firm is currently putting the finishing touches to its debut deal, the acquisition of Mont Blanc, a dessert business owned by Nestlé. Fellow partner Michael Diehl said the firm expects to announce a second food industry-related deal within the next few weeks.
Activa is currently in the process of raising its debut fund, Activa Capital Fund FCPR, which held a first close on E90m in January. The fund, which will invest in smaller mid-market carve-out opportunities in France with a transaction value of between E15m and E75m, is seeking to raise a total of E150m, of which Hermes Investment Management has agreed to commit 25 per cent. AG2R, the Finnish Local Government Pensions Institution, funds managed by Partners Group, Proventure and Scottish Widows have also invested.
Michael Diehl said he believed the pipeline of deal opportunities in France was still improving, with many major French corporations now looking to dispose of some of their smaller business units. Diehl takes the view that the lower end of the French mid-market remains less competitive as many of the big international buyout firms do not pursue deals of less than E100m.