Exclusive: Portobello nears final close

The Madrid-based firm held a €337m first close last week, ahead of its €300m target for Fund III.

Portobello Capital, a Spanish mid-market investor, is close to wrapping up fundraising for its third fund, PEI has learnt.

The fund held a €337 million first close last week, ahead of its €300 million target, according to sources familiar with the matter. The vehicle will hold a final close in the summer.

Approximately 70 percent of the LPs in the fund are from outside Spain, one of the sources said.

It is understood Probitas Partners is helping Portobello with the fundraise. Both Probitas and Portobello declined to comment on fundraising.

For Portobello, which invests in Spanish mid-market companies between €30 million and €300 million, it will be the first fund raised under their current name. In 2010, the current team, consisting of five investment professionals, spun out from Ibersuizas Capital, a captive vehicle owned by a group of Spanish entrepreneurs, in which it had a 34 percent stake.

The majority shareholders of that management company tried to get further control of the company, which resulted in a dispute with the investment team. The disagreement came to a head when 90 percent of investors in the fund decided to fire the management company and remove the GP, the source said.

In January 2011, the five investment professionals were appointed as the new GP. The team renamed the firm Portobello Capital and the existing fund was also renamed Portobello Capital II. The firm is now run by three senior partners: Juan Luis Ramírez Belaustegui, Ramon Cerdeiras and Iñigo Sánchez-Asiaín; and two partners: Fernando Chinchurreta and Luis Peñarrocha.

Portobello Capital II, a €331 million 2006 vintage, has been fully invested, with some left over capital for add-on acquisitions. The vehicle has returned “almost 60 percent of the fund” to its LPs and is being valued at 1.83x, PEI reported last August.

News of Portobello’s fundraise comes as a number of other GPs are attempting to collect capital for Iberia. Barcelona-based Miura Private Equity is targeting €200 million for its second fund, PEI revealed in May. Sherpa Capital Gestion, a Spanish firm that focuses on distressed and special situations, is also in market raising its second fund, according to a source familiar with the matter. Additionally, Madrid-based firm Corpfin Capital, which came to market last summer, has already collected more than half of its €200 million target for its fourth fund.