Exclusive: Viola in partial exit after first close

The firm, which invests in Israeli-based tech companies, recently held a $100m first close for its Fund II

Viola Private Equity, an Israel-based growth capital firm, has reduced its stake in Matomy Media Group shortly after holding a first close on its second fund, PEI has learnt.

The firm has sold a third of its position in the business to French communication business Publicis, having listed the media company on the London Stock Exchange in July.

The total investment in Matomy will yield the firm’s investors a 5x return, of which a third is currently liquidated, Harel Beit-On, founder and general partner at Viola Private Equity told PEI.

The partial exit comes shortly after Viola Private Equity held a $100 million first close on its second fund in early September, Beit-On said. Since then, the firm has amassed an additional $50 million in commitments.

Viola, which is attempting to raise $250 million for this fund, will invest in Israeli-based technology companies that are export-orientated, in expansion phase and have minimum revenues of $15 million.

Viola has so far attracted a mix of Israeli institutions and international institutions including a US fund of funds, a German fund of funds and a German pension fund. It has also received commitments from a few Asian family offices, Beit-On said. Viola’s GP commitment is $27 million, which would make up just over 10 percent of the fund, creating the “perfect alignment of interest,” according to Beit-On.

Acanthus Advisers is supporting the firm with the fundraising. Viola aims to reach its final close early next year, Beit-On added.

The firm’s Fund II will be larger than Viola’s debut fund, which closed on $164 million in 2009. That vehicle backed 12 companies, of which two have been exited and one has been partially exited.