Caixa Catalunya to target SMEs

The Catalan bank is to set up a new development capital business targeting small to mid-sized Catalan businesses.

Catalan bank Caixa Catalunya, which recently set up an alliance with Baring Private Equity Partners with the launch of Invercartera Capital, has launched a development capital enterprise targeting ‘pymes’ businesses (SMEs) in Spain.

The firm has set aside E30m for investment in up to ten companies looking for expansion capital across a variety of sectors. It will look to invest around E3m per transaction in return for minority stakes in Spain.

The initiative is the latest step Caixa Catalunya has taken to boost its presence in private equity investment. In April, the bank acquired a 45 per cent stake in Baring Private Equity España (BPEP España) and agreed to provide a cornerstone investment in BPEP España's future fund raising. 

Until recently, Caixa Catalunya's mainly invested in private equity via local fund managers including Catalana d'Iniciatives, Barcelona Emprèn, Innova 31, Marco Polo, Invercat Exterior, Ged Iberian Fund, Nexus Capital and Webline Investments.

Caixa Catalunya has invested more than E27m in private equity, focussing primarily on supporting start-up companies and contributing early stage expansion capital. It primarily invests in Catalonia, Spain’s leading industrial region.