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Augur holds final close short of target

Private equity group Augur Capital has raised €212m for its second European mid-market fund, short of its original target but almost double the size of its previous vehicle.

Augur Capital this week closed its second fund at €212 million. Augur FIS Financial Opportunities II had a target of €250 million, with a hard cap of €300 million. The fund made a third closing in June this year of €165 million and its first closing was in 2010 on €72 million.

Augur’s first fund, €116.4 million in size, is now 88 percent deployed according to the firm.

The fund will be used to make mid-market buyout investments in Europe’s financial services sector, the same mandate as the previous vehicle. Investors are mostly German institutions, according to a source close to the firm, and some have re-upped from the first fund. Augur would not disclose more information about investors.

The investment team is headed by founders and managing partners Günther Skrzypek and Thomas Schmitt, who have significant experience in the financial services sector.

Augur has already deployed capital from the second fund, acquiring a two-thirds stake in an investment and fund administration company, LRI Invest. It has also agreed to buy life insurance business Ageus Deutschland Lebensversicherung as its second investment and a source with knowledge of the matter said it had more in the pipeline. The firm would not disclose the value of the deals.

Augur remains bullish about the SME market, with co-founder Thomas Schmitt commenting: “We notice a remarkable increase in high-quality deal flow in our sweet-spot of small- to medium-sized transaction opportunities.”

However, some firms within the industry have been complaining recently about the lack of quality investments in Europe due to the volatility of markets and owners’ unwillingness to sell their businesses.