Ex-Danske team seeks €250m for Baltics and Balkans – exclusive

KJK Fund III will target approximately 15 buyouts or growth deals in Balkan countries such as Romania, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina and the three Baltic states.

KJK Management, a firm launched by four former Danske Capital executives, is seeking up to €250 million for its third vehicle targeting private and public equity stakes in the Balkans and Baltics, Private Equity International has learned.

The Luxembourg-based firm is pre-marketing KJK Fund III with its 100 existing limited partners in countries including Finland, Denmark, Estonia and Lithuania, managing partner Kustaa Aima told PEI. KJK’s previous vehicle, two sub-funds with 2012- and 2014-vintages, secured €125 million from a mix of insurance companies, pension funds and high-net-worth-individuals, he noted.

Fund III will target approximately 15 buyouts or growth deals ranging from €10 million to €30 million in Balkan countries such as Romania, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina and the three Baltic states, Aima said. The firm’s previous two vehicles have been split equally between public and private equities, and the new fund will not have a specific allocation to either asset class.

“Whenever we invest it’s as a private investor with some kind of control in mind,” Aima noted. “In a public company we act as we would in a private company.”

Aima previously served as head of Eastern European investments at Danske Capital. He  and his co-founders Jaakko Salmelin, Martynas Cesnavicius and Kari Salonen were formely part of ING Group’s Finnish investment management team, until it was sold to Danske Bank in 2000. The team left Danske Capital to found KJK in 2010 and have completed 23 investments.

The 19-strong firm manages €600 million of assets, according to its website.