Catalunya acquires 45 per cent of BPEP España

The Catalunyan bank has also selected Baring Private Equity Partners España to manage parts of its direct private equity investment portfolio in Spain.

Caixa Catalunya has acquired a 45 per cent stake in Baring Private Equity España (BPEP España) and will provide a cornerstone investment in BPEP España's future fund raising. BPEP España is currently putting the finishing touches to its new Iberia fund, due to launch later this year.

As part of the deal, BPEP España will manage parts of Caixa Catalunya’s direct private equity investment portfolio in Spain.  Caixa Catalunya is already a major investor in the E60m Baring Iberia I Fund which was launched in 1999 and is close to being fully invested.

BPEP España currently manages Spanish funds worth more than E80m. In addition to Caixa Catalunya, investors in the Baring Iberia I Fund include three Spanish savings banks (Caja Duero, Caja Asturias, Caixa d'Estalvis de Terrassa), a Portuguese savings bank (Montepío Geral) and the European Investment Bank.

A spokesperson for BPEP said the deal was the final piece in the firm’s drive to cover the Iberian peninsula. “The link-up with Caixa Catalunya will give a presence in the Catalunya, Spain’s most important industrial region.”

In recent years, Caixa Catalunya has invested more than E27m in private equity, focussing primarily on supporting start-up companies and contributing early stage expansion capital. Baring Private Equity Partners España has invested in more than 50 companies since it set up in the region in 1987, making investments of between E2-5m.