Banexi Capital set for independence

The mid-market private equity captive fund is set to spin out of BNP Paribas as the bank continues to reduce its exposure to the asset class.

Banexi Capital Partenaires, the mid-market private equity fund controlled by BNP Paribas, is set to become the latest captive to gain independence from its banking parent as the French bank continues to scale down its exposure to private equity.

BNP Paribas chief Michel Pébereau has said the bank will continue to reduce its allocation to the asset class after PAI Management, the bank’s larger buyout operation, became fully independent last year.

 

In line with its move towards independence, Banexi, headed by Franck Boget, is planning to raise a successor to the E175m fund raised in 1999. According to French business daily L’Agefi, the fund will target up to E250m for mid-market LBO deals, with BNP committing up to 25 per cent of the fund’s capital.

 

BNP committed E250m to the debut PAI Management fund, which closed on E1.8bn last July.

 

The bank is expected to take a stake in the management company of Banexi and will also be an important source of dealflow for the firm.

 

It is further reported that Banexi Ventures, the venture capital unit of Banexi, could also seek to gain independence from its banking parent. The unit headed by Michel Dahan is already 20 per cent controlled by management and its most recent fund, Banexi Ventures 3, was largely raised from third parties. BNP is expected to retain its BNP Paribas Développement unit, which specialises in regional VC investments in France.

 

If Banexi Capital Partenaires is to obtain its independence, it will follow in the footsteps of Montagu Private Equity, the mid-market private equity unit headed by Chris Masterson, which bought itself out from HSBC last month.