Argentum backs FSN Capital fund

Norwegian private equity firm FSN Capital has launched its second fund with a NOK200m (€24m) commitment from Argentum, the Norwegian government-owned fund of funds investor.

FSN Capital has raised NOK200 million (€24 million; $29 million) for its newly launched FSN Capital II fund from Argentum, the fund of funds owned by the Norwegian government. In a statement, FSN said Nordic institutions Nordea, DNB Nor, Storebrand and Hoegh Capital Partners would also be investing undisclosed amounts in the fund, which has a target size of NOK1 billion (€120 million; $145 million).       

FSN Capital, which has offices in Oslo and Stockholm, raised a first fund totalling NOK500 million in 1999. The new fund will continue its predecessor’s strategy of acquiring and developing medium-sized industrial companies, investing between NOK150 million and NOK350 million in each transaction. Previous investments include Kongsberg Automotive, a Norwegian auto components firm, and Jamo, a Danish provider of sound solutions.       

“Norway lacks a strong private equity community focusing on the buyout and development of mature companies with growth potential,” said Jorgen Kjaernes, chief executive of Argentum. “With this investment, Argentum is again increasing Norwegian industry’s access to risk capital, which will help boost competitiveness.”

Argentum claims to invest on a commercial basis while aiming to facilitate access to international risk capital and be a driving force in the development of an internationally competitive private equity sector in Norway. Its portfolio of funds includes CapMan Equity VII, Energy Ventures AS and Teknoinvest VIII.

The Norwegian market, under-developed in relation to its Nordic neighbours, is currently the subject of considerable fundraising activity. Earlier this week Ferd Private Equity, the private equity arm of Norwegian industrial group Ferd, announced a NOK1.25 billion first closing of its debut fund, while Oslo-based Reiten & Co and Norsk Vekst are also on the fundraising trail.