Ex-Apax execs close debut fund on €320m

Abac Capital will target mid-market opportunities in Spain.

Abac Capital, a private equity firm set up by three former executives in Apax Partners’ Spain office, has held a final close on its debut fund on €320 million. The new firm said it was the largest Southern Europe maiden fundraise since the global financial crisis.

Abac Solutions SICAR launched in spring 2014 and had an initial target of between €300 million and €350 million, according to PEI Research & Analytics. The firm held a first close on the fund in August 2015, according to reports.

Located in Barcelona and Madrid, Abac Capital was set up in 2014 by Oriol Pinya, who worked at Apax for 15 years and was head of the Spanish office, Borja Martínez de la Rosa and Javier Rigau, who both spent 13 years at Apax.

The fund received commitments from a “well-balanced mix” of institutional investors, including pension funds, endowments, financial institutions, funds of funds and family offices. Around 60 percent of the capital raised came from European investors, 30 percent from North American investors, and 10 percent from Asia-Pacific investors, according to the statement.

MVision Private Equity Advisers acted as global placement agent for the fundraise, while King & Wood Mallesons acted as legal counsel.

The fund will look to invest between €20 million and €50 million in eight to 12 companies, focusing on the consumer, TMT, services, industrials and energy sectors, investing in cash-flow positive businesses “where an ownership change, increased liquidity and better governance can unlock significant value,” said Martínez de la Rosa in a statement.

The fund has already made two investments, backing automotive aftermarket supplier Metalcaucho and global seating systems provider Figueras International Seating.

Just three Iberia-focused funds closed in 2015, raising a combined $543.7 million, according to PEI Research & Analytics. Today there are more than 20 Iberia-specific funds in market seeking just under $4 billion combined to invest across the spectrum, from mezzanine and debt to venture capital to buyouts.

These include Meridia Capital, a Barcelona-based real estate specialist which has launched its first private equity fund, Meridia Growth I, an industrial-focused fund targeting €125 million.

Spanish asset manager N+1 is also closing in on its €450 million hard-cap for its third private equity fund. The firm held a first close for the vehicle on €400 million in April and is in talks with state-owned bank Instituto de Crédito Oficial, which could commit up to $50 million through its private equity vehicle launched in November, as reported by Private Equity International.