Bregal commits €250m to Egeria fund

Dutch private equity firm Egeria has launched its second fund with a €250m commitment from Bregal Investments, the Swiss group that manages the Brenninkmeijer family fortune.

Bregal Investments, a vehicle that invests on behalf of the wealthy Brenninkmeijer family, has committed €250 million as a cornerstone investor in the second fund raised by Dutch mid-market private equity firm Egeria.

Egeria Private Equity Fund II is aiming to raise between €400 million and €450 million in total by the end of 2005. According to Egeria managing partner Jan Niessen, the firm will initially seek commitments from Dutch institutions it “knows well” before widening the net to “large continental European institutions, including funds of funds”. Although the firm is not using a placement agent at this stage, Niessen did not rule out the possibility of hiring one at some point during the fundraising.

Egeria was founded by Niessen and fellow managing partner Peter Visser in the late 1990s with an initial commitment of just over €30 million from the Brenninkmeijer family. Niessen was previously a director in the Dutch team of CVC Capital Partners, while Visser was a member of Dutch bank Mees Pierson’s private equity arm.

Niessen said Egeria’s first fund was regularly topped up by periodic commitments from the Brenninkmeijer family and that the current cost price of the portfolio is around €175 million. He added that the Bregal commitment to its latest fundraising is not linked to that organisation’s recent launch of a fund of funds operation headed by Chuck Flynn, the former head of Deutsche Bank’s private equity fund investment arm.

Egeria focuses on Dutch-based businesses and businesses “with a Dutch link” and seeks to hold a controlling stake in investee companies, either alone or as part of a consortium. Niessen said it would target enterprises worth between €50 million to €150 million from the new fund, putting it in the same league as Dutch mid-market competitors such as ABN Amro Private Equity, Gilde and AlpInvest Partners.

In recent months, Egeria has invested a total of €54 million in Ad van Geloven, a Dutch fast food brand, and Muelink & Grol, a Groningen-based manufacturer of flue-gas exhaust systems for heating equipment. Its other investments include Ahrend, the office furnishing business, and Budget Rent a Car, the vehicle rental firm.