Paris-based specialist financial investor BlackFin has closed its second fund on its €400 million hard-cap, the firm said. The fund had an initial target of €350 million.
Investors in BlackFin Financial Services Fund II include European institutions and family offices, the firm said. BPI France, the European Investment Fund, Switzerland’s Unigestion, and Jasmin Capital are among those that made commitments, according to PEI Research & Analytics.
Fund II is almost twice the size of the firm’s debut vehicle, a 2009-vintage vehicle that raised €220 million. It has already made three investments since its second close in July on more than €300 million, which followed its first close in January 2015 on €160 million.
The fund has acquired The Royal Bank of Scotland’s Luxembourg-based independent management and funds governance business, which completed at the end of December. The business has since been renamed FundRock.
In September Fund II acquired a controlling stake in French health and insurance broker Santiane Group, which it will help to grow its current business lines – direct insurance brokerage and wholesale brokerage – and develop new products.
The following month BlackFin acquired a controlling stake in Geneva-based New Access Banking Software, which supplies private banks around the world with software products. The firm will support the company’s growth in Europe, Latin America and Asia, it said.
The firm targets asset-light financial services businesses in continental Europe in the lower mid-market in segments including asset-management, institutional and retail brokerage, distribution of insurance and banking products, payments, processing, debt management and collection, fund administration, business process outsourcing and financial technology.
It makes investments of €10-30 million in non-leveraged transactions to acquire a majority or significant minority stake.
“We see a lot of competition between generalist, mid-market buyout funds who are under a lot of pressure to spend their dry powder,” said William Barrett, partner at Paris-based placement agent Reach Capital. “Conversely, we see a growing interest from LPs for managers addressing under-invested markets, such as small-cap – below €50 million enterprise value – or special situations/turnaround, and for managers with a specific angle such as sector experts like Blackfin, or specialist strategies like cross-border, like Cathay Capital.”