BPEP Espana finds €97m

The Spanish operation of Baring Private Equity Partners has announced a final closing of its second fund on €97m.

BPEP España has completed the first new fundraising effort within Baring Private Equity International since the group finalised its MBO from parent company ING group in August.

Headed up by managing partner José Angel Sarasa, BPEP España has closed Baring Iberia II Inversion en Capital Fund on €97 million.

In the same week, Madrid-headquartered MCH Private Equity has held a first close of MCH Iberian Capital Fund II on €140 million ($183 million).

BPEP Espana's new fund follows on from Baring Iberia I, which raised €60 million in 1998. Launched in early 2003, the new fund held a first close on €72 million in October last year.

Baring Iberia II will primarily provide expansion capital to small and medium-sized private companies in Spain and Portugal.

Investors in the fund included four of the six original investors in Baring Iberia I Fund. Spanish savings bank Caixa Catalunya is a cornerstone investor, having acquired a 45 percent stake in the management company of BPEP España in 2002.

The fund also attracted commitments from the European Investment Fund (EIF), other Spanish savings banks, a pension fund and family offices according to a source close to the firm.

Commenting on the fund close, Sarasa said in a statement: “Our success represents a positive signal of increasing investor interest and stronger market growth in Spain’s private equity market.”

The fund, which is approximately 15 percent invested at this stage, has made three investments to date, backing Arte Hispánico in December 2003 and Aricam and Selenis both in August 2004.

BPEP España began operating in Spain in 1987 and has funds under management in excess of €200 million.

The firm forms part of the wider Baring Private Equity International group, which has operations in Western Europe, Central Europe, Russia, India, Asia and Latin America. The group manages more than $2 billion in global assets.

MCH's initial closing on €140 million is comprised of the closing of a UK LP vehicle on €97 million and approximately €40 million will be committed through a Spanish parallel vehicle over the next few weeks. The firm has an overall target of €200 million.

The vehicle is sponsored by Natexis Private Equity and Quilvest and has attracted further commitments from funds of funds, banks, pension funds and insurance companies.