Baring Central European Fund raises E75m at first closing

The fund will focus on investments in Poland, Hungary and other Central European countries.

Baring Private Equity Partners has raised E75m at first closing of its Baring Central European Fund (BCEF).

The Guernsey-based fund focuses on private equity investments in Poland, Hungary and other central European countries. Investors include ING Group, the European Investment Fund (EIF) and an unnamed US institutional investor.

Four partners, Gyuri Karady, William R. Watson, Jacek Pogonowski and Leo Gherghina, based in Warsaw, Bucharest and London, manage the fund. A Budapest office will be opened in the first quarter of 2001.

The team focuses on investing in growth opportunities where it can pursue “buy and build” strategies and aims to take advantage of the region's rapid growth and convergence to the European Union. The fund has already made four investments in Poland, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria.

Gyuri Karady, managing partner of the fund, said: “The closing comes at a time when investment opportunities in the region are multiplying. The fund has a strong pipeline of opportunities, and this closing will allow it to continue to build its portfolio.”

Christopher Brotchie, chief executive of BPEP, said: “BCEF is one of the few truly regional funds in central Europe. The management team has already established itself with a strong track record throughout the region. Combined with the global resources of BPEP and ING Group, the fund is strategically positioned to benefit from the region’s fundamentals of growth, value and EU convergence.”

Baring Private Equity Partners (BPEP) is a member of ING Group.