Franco-Portuguese JV raises debut fund

SES Iberia Private Equity, sponsored by GP groups Espírito Santo and Siparex, will invest in mid-market companies in Spain, Portugal and South West France.

SES Iberia Private Equity has announced a €27.5 million second close for its SES Iberian Fund I. 

This figure includes €12.5 million of commitments acquired since its first close, and represents a 55 percent share of the fund's €50 million target size. 85 percent of current commitments are from institutional investors, and the remainder from private investors.

€15 million came from the two private equity firms that established the fund: Espírito Santo Capital, the private equity arm of Portugal's Banco Espírito Santo Group; and Sigefi Private Equity, the management company of France's Siparex Group. Each firm owns a 50 percent share in SES Iberia Private Equity, which is based in Madrid.

Established last June, SES Iberian Fund I will invest in companies with revenues of  €10-100 million. 

The intention is for 50 percent of the fund to be invested in Spain and 30 percent in Portugal; the remainder will be invested in companies based in south-west France that operate in the Iberian Peninsula. The fund will mainly be dedicated to development capital and LBO deals. A press release says the firm is already looking at several potential investment opportunities in a range of sectors, and is focusing on companies with experienced management.

Oscar Martínez–Cubells Leyún, a partner at SES Iberia Private Equity, said in an interview that the fund had been set up as part of Siparex's strategy of expansion into Southern Europe. He said that the partnership with Espírito Santo, which has been investing in Siparex for eight years, was established in order to allow both firms better access to deal flow throughout the region.

SES Iberian Fund I is made up of two mirror investment vehicles: Espírito Santo Iberia I, registered in Portugal; and Siparex Iberia I, registered in France. Martínez–Cubells Leyún explained that this is in order to attract investors who have worked with the two established firms in the past.

This is the second fund closing in the region to be announced in recent weeks. Last November, BPEP España, the Spanish arm of Baring Private Equity Partners, announced a €97 million final close for its second fund.