Crédit Agricole expands private equity teams

The private equity branch of French bank Crédit Agricole has bolstered its special situations and venture capital groups, with an eye toward Germany and northern Europe.

Crédit Agricole Private Equity (CAPE), the private equity arm of France’s largest commercial bank, has made two recent executive appointments, with Christian Claussen joining the venture capital team as a senior partner and Xavier Tassel named as a partner to the special situations team.

CAPE manages around $3.2 billion in assets, with 40 investment teams focusing on segments including expansion, buyout capital, PPP infrastructure and secondaries. The firm specialises in investment in unlisted companies, including last month’s funding of $1.2 million to Lyon-based medical devices developer EyeTechCare.

As part of the venture capital team, Claussen – who spent the last 10 years on the investment team of Germany’s TVM Capital – will help find investment opportunities in the northern European and German markets. Antoine Colboc, head of CAPE’s venture capital business, said in a statement that the German market especially has untapped investment potential right now.

The special situations group that Tassel is joining manages a €50 million fund and focuses mainly on distressed companies. Tassel previously worked for KPMG as a manager in its corporate recovery team before moving to Kroll Talbot Hughes, and will report to Arnaud Mauduy in his new role at CAPE.

The firm in early 2008 has also brought Frantz Paulus on board as an investment director to work on its co-investment activity, with PACE last September announcing two new co-investment funds with committed capital of €100 million and an investment capacity of €15 million per deal.