Centurion Capital closes debut fund

Centurion Capital has achieved a first and final closing of its debut private equity fund on €150m. The fund will aim to exploit the convergence of Europe’s economies and expansion of the European Union.

Centurion Capital has closed its debut fund, European New Horizons LP, on €150 million ($182 million). The fund will focus mainly on opportunities arising in Central and Eastern Europe.     

The fund was raised by the firm’s chief executive Richard Waryn and managing director Edwin Richards in around a year without the use of a placement agent. Waryn told PrivateEquityOnline the fund had hit its initial target size of €150 million. He said the firm had considered keeping it open to investors for a second closing, but decided to wrap it up in order to focus on deal opportunities in the pipeline.

Waryn added that the identity of individual investors in the fund would remain undisclosed, but they comprised European-based family offices, high net worth individuals and one institution.

Waryn was previously a director at Emerging Markets Partnership, the international private equity firm based in Washington DC.  He moved from there to become a co-founder at Finartis Private Equity, the Central and Eastern Europe-focused investor, to “kick-start the firm on the understanding that it would be an interim role for me prior to starting my own business”. Richards was at UBS Capital for eight years as a director and then partner focused on mid-market investments in Western Europe.

Centurion will target companies that stand to benefit from expanding their markets East or West, typically by relocating manufacturing to lower cost regions or outsourcing to Central and Eastern Europe. Waryn said the fund would target firms based in countries including Germany, Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic.

Waryn said deal flow would come from his and Richards’ “personal set of contacts” – including the senior management of companies based in the region – as well as intermediaries. In addition, he said Centurion was putting in place formal arrangements with unidentified partners in the region to help source deals and manage them.

He said Centurion would only seek to make around two investments a year as they would be “relatively time intensive” situations in which the firm would seek to get “deeply involved” in management. He said that for larger deals the firm would seek to form consortia alongside other private equity firms active in the region.

Centurion has a team of six based in London, with no plans in the foreseeable future to establish offices in other locations. Waryn said the firm would be making an announcement 'soon' regarding new investment activity.