Charme inks first Fund III deal

Italian buyout house Charme Capital Partners has acquired a genetic testing company from its third fund, which has exceeded its €500m target.

Italian buyout house Charme Capital Partners (CCP) has acquired Spanish reproductive genetic testing company Igenomix.

The deal is the first from CCP’s third fund, which is still on the road, but has exceeded its €500 million target according to a person familiar with its progress.

“Igenomix is enjoying accelerated growth exceeding 5 percent per annum and will approach €30m sales in 2016, so it represented a great opportunity to invest in a leading national champion and contribute to its global expansion,” the firm said in a statement.

The Valencia-based company, which offers genetic testing services in reproductive medicine and works with IVF clinics to increase the chances of successful pregnancies, employs more 100 people across eight advanced specialist laboratories worldwide.

CCP, which is taking a majority stake in Igenomix, says it will help accelerate Igenomix’s internationalisation, expand the company’s R&D functions, and broaden the scope of its genetic testing services. Priorities for international expansion include China and Russia.

The company’s management team will retain a minority stake in the business. Graham Snudden, the co-founder of pre-implantation genetic testing company BlueGnome will invest alongside CCP and join Igenomix’s board as part of the deal.

The buyout is the first from Charme III and the first since the firm hired former Doughty Hanson UK head Julian Huxtable and colleagues Francisco Churtichaga and Christopher Fielding as partners for its pan-European investment push.

Charme’s latest fund is the firm’s first for seven years following the closure of Charme II on €340 million in 2009. In February, the Milan-based firm exited its remaining investment in Charme II, selling blood purification treatments business Bellco to medical technology company Medtronic. The fund realised a 2.5x return and a gross internal rate of return of 33 percent.

The firm raised its first fund, a €186 million vehicle, in 2003.