European Capital’s IPO raises €125m

US-listed company American Capital Strategies’ affiliate European Capital is the latest buyout firm to be placed on the public markets. The firm is known for its flexible investment strategy and one stop buyouts.

US alternative asset management firm American Capital Strategies has completed the initial public offering of its affiliate European Capital raising €125 million ($179 million).


Malon Wilkus: American Capital Strategies’ chairman, chief executive and president.

A total of 12.7 million shares went on sale at €9.84 per share and the price had risen to €10.15 at 0801 GMT. European Capital has also granted the deal’s underwriters an option to purchase an additional 1.9 million ordinary shares to cover over-allotments.

European Capital was launched in the summer of 2005 with the ability to make investments in European buyouts, mezzanine and senior debt from one single pool of capital.

Its flotation barely two years since establishment underlines the progress the firm has made and brings it quickly into line with its US parent, which has grown  to become one of the US’s largest volume investors in the mid-market accessible to public market investors.

American Capital floated in 1997 making a 660 percent return for investors from that date.
In Europe the firm offers capital for one stop buyouts of between €50 million and €125 million per deal and it is also able to make larger investments. The company provides mezzanine financing of up to €250 million.

It is the latest buyout firm to go public in recent months, most notably American Capital’s rival in alternative asset management Fortress. The Blackstone Group has also declared its intention to list a share in the management company.  

The Carlyle Group’s co-founder David Rubenstein and Apollo Management’s founder Leon Black said last month that most major buyout firms are considering IPOs after the successful launches of Blackstone and Fortress.

European Capital’s most recent one stop deals include the producer of industrial furnaces Metall Technologie in December 2006, dried fruit and nut company, Whitworths in October 2006 and decorating supplier Farrow & Ball in July 2006.

European Capital declined to comment.