€50m Iberia/France fund launched

Espirito Santo Capital and Sigefi Private Equity have joined forces to launch SES Iberian Fund I, a cross-border Iberian-French private equity fund that is aiming to raise €50 million.

Espirito Santo Capital, the private equity firm of Portugal’s Banco Espirito Santo Group, and Sigefi Private Equity, the management company of Siparex Group of France, have launched SES Iberian Fund I (SES I).

The fund will aim to raise €50 million from Spanish, Portuguese, French and international investors. No placement agent is being used.  

SES I will target investments in mid-market companies with revenues between €10 million and €100 million in Spain, France and Portgual. Half the fund has been earmarked for Spanish businesses, 30 percent for Portuguese firms and 20 percent for French companies that have developed or plan to develop significant activities in the Iberian Peninsula.

The fund will be advised by Madrid-based SES Iberia Private Equity, which will comprise a board of Spanish, Portuguese and French entrepreneurs representing some of the business sectors and geographical areas in which the fund will operate, and which will be 50/50-owned by the two partners.

The fund comprises two parallel investment vehicles: Espirito Santo Iberia I, which is managed by Espirito Santo Capital and is an FIQ vehicle registered in Portugal, and Siparex Iberia I, an FCPR vehicle managed by Sigefi Private Equity and registered in France.

In a joint statement, the two partners said a new Spanish investment team will be headed by Oscar Martinez-Cubells Leyun. He previously worked at AC Desarollo, a subsidiary of Spain’s Grupo Ahorro Corporacion, to start up and develop its private equity business.

From 1995 until joining AC Desarollo in 1999, he was an investment manager at VISTA Capital de Expansion, a private equity joint venture between Santander Central Hispano and Royal Bank of Scotland. Prior to that, he worked for five years as a manager at Ernst & Young Corporate Finance.

The two partners said Portuguese and French investments would be led respectively “by professionals of Espirito Santo Capital and Sigefi Private Equity”.

“We will provide the medium-sized companies of the region with an original approach, different from the conventional banking tradition and the Anglo-Saxon approach,” said Dominique Nouvellet, chairman and chief executive of Sigefi Private Equity.

Last month, Soros Private Equity announced a co-operation agreement with former Goldman Sachs managing director Jaime Bergel and Spanish financier Carlos Tejera to launch a new private equity vehicle focused on opportunities in Spain and Portugal. Soros will cornerstone the fund – which has not announced a target size – with additional capital to be secured from third parties.

Banco Espirito Santo Group is the second largest private financial group in Portugal and is listed on Euronext Lisbon with a market capitalisation of €4.2 billion.

Sigefi Private Equity is the management company of the Siparex Group, which has €813 million of funds under management covering all segments of the private equity market except large leveraged buyouts.