ALPHA plans Eastern Europe FoF

ALPHA Associates, which manages the former third-party private equity business of Swiss Life, has revealed plans to raise a new fund of funds vehicle to invest in Eastern European opportunities.

Zurich-based private equity firm ALPHA Associates has announced plans to launch a new fund of funds product targeting Eastern Europe.

“We will be very likely to launch a new fund of funds product and we are in early discussions as to the focus of the first product to go to market,” Petr Rojicek, a member of the ALPHA management team, told PrivateEquityOnline. He added: “Eastern Europe will likely be a priority as there is an appetite to enter this niche market through a fund of funds product. He said it was “quite possible” that the product would be launched later this year.      

As part of the former Swiss Life business, ALPHA already manages 5EH Holding, a fund of funds dedicated to private equity investment in Central and Eastern Europe. Rojicek said no decision had been taken on whether the new fund would continue the 5EH branding or have a separate name.    

ALPHA spun out of Swiss Life Private Equity Partners on April 1 2004. As well as 5EH, the business includes Private Equity Holding, the Swiss-listed fund of funds group that nearly went insolvent last year after failing to meet repayments on a loan from Swiss Life. It was saved when CSFB bought part of the portfolio for cash, allowing it to repay the loan and leaving just €37.4 million in commitments.   

The business also includes ALPHA 2001 LP, a small, diversified private equity partnership for institutional investors that was launched just before Swiss Life reviewed its private equity strategy.

The ALPHA team comprises former members of the Swiss Life Private Equity Partners team and is led by Peter Derendinger, Christoph Huber, Petr Rojicek and Petra Salesny.

Swiss Life took the decision to exit its third-party private equity portfolio after a year-long strategic review. It has retained the remaining members of its Swiss Life Private Equity Partners team.