Ex-Carlyle MD to raise Polish fund

Carlyle’s defunct Polish team is now seeking €200m for a consumer sector fund.

Ryszard Wojtkowski, formerly a senior advisor at The Carlyle Group, has started raising a €200 million private equity fund to invest in the Polish mid-market.

Carlyle shut down its Warsaw-based operations in November 2008 as it sought to cut costs amid the financial downturn. The 12-strong Warsaw team, led by Wojtkowski, had been established just one year earlier.

Wojtkowski’s new venture – Resource Partners – comprises six members of the former Carlyle team.

The firm is raising its debut fund to invest predominantly in the Polish consumer sector including food and agribusiness. Up to 40 percent of the fund can be invested outside of Poland using a more generalist strategy, according to a document published by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Wojtkowski is no stranger to the consumer sector, having spent time at the helm of Novartis Consumer Health International in Switzerland and as deputy general manager of Coca-Cola Poland. Before joining Carlyle in 2007, he spent seven years at CEE-focused private equity firm Enterprise Investors, latterly as managing partner.

Two cornerstone LPs – Dutch bank Rabobank and the EBRD – will commit €25 million each for the fund’s first close. Both institutions may increase their commitment as the fundraising progresses. Resource Partners declined to comment on the fundraising.