Crestview, Aleph Capital form €1.2bn partnership

Aleph, led by former head of Goldman Sachs Private Equity EMEA, has secured its first deal by investing in a UK-based cloud computing company

US-based Crestview Partners has teamed up with Aleph Capital, a private equity firm set up by former EMEA Head of Goldman Sachs’ Private Equity Hugues Lepic to back a UK-based cloud computing business called Interoute Communications, according to a statement.  

Financial details of the transaction were undisclosed.

Interoute is an integrated network that owns and operates cloud computing platforms across Europe. Aleph Capital and Crestview will hold a 30 percent stake in Interoute, while the Sandoz Family Foundation will remain the majority shareholder.

“The company is poised to capitalise on the increasing demand for bandwidth and cloud-based services. We see a significant consolidation opportunity in the fibre and cloud markets in Europe and Interoute is in a strong position to participate in it,” Brian Cassidy, a partner at Crestview Partners, said in the statement.

Crestview and Aleph have both invested 50 percent in the deal, which was made from a €1.2 billion partnership the firms recently formed to back companies in the UK and Western Europe. The “strategic alliance” is looking to invest the capital over a four-year period. 

The €1.2 billion is not put in a traditional private equity fund, it is understood. Crestview and Aleph Capital Partners expect to fund their contributions from commitments by their respective outside investors as well as their own principals, according to Aleph’s website. The majority of Crestview's commitment is expected to come from the firm's third fund, which recently closed on $3.25 billion, according to a source familiar with the matter. 

Aleph was founded in 2013 by Hugues Lepic, formerly head of the merchant banking division and head of the Principal Investment Area (PIA) at Goldman Sachs in EMEA. Aleph is looking to make investments with a capital commitment ranging from €100 million to €400 million. The firm is flexible in how it deploys capital. It can invest in equity or debt capital to suit the specifics of each business and situation. The companies that it focuses on typically have enterprise values ranging between €300 million and €3 billion.

While its investment approach is generally industry agnostic, Aleph tends to invest in TMT, financial services and energy.

Crestview, founded in 2004, is a mid-market private equity firm based in New York. The firm manages funds with more than $7 billion of aggregate capital commitments. Crestview typically invests in media, energy, financial services, healthcare and industrials.