Freshstream closes Bregal-backed debut fund on €600m

The vehicle, supported solely by Bregal Investments, is looking to invest in mid-market companies in the UK and Benelux.

Freshstream Capital has closed its debut private equity fund on €600 million, supported solely by family-backed investment fund Bregal Investments, according to the firm.

Freshstream, which will now be known as Bregal Freshstream, was launched this year by a team of former TowerBrook Capital Partners executives.

The vehicle will be looking to write equity cheques of between €30 million and €100 million for growth businesses, with a particular focus on companies in the UK and Benelux markets.

The fund will be sector-agnostic, but the Freshstream team has “significant” prior experience in industries such as healthcare, general manufacturing and financial services, as well as the aerospace, retail, chemicals, building products and TMT markets.

With just one limited partner, Bregal Freshstream is “somewhat distinct” from other private equity firms, with a “high degree of flexibility” around the investment hold period and the capital structure of prospective portfolio companies, the firm said.

It will be looking to acquire majority equity stakes, although it has the capability to invest across the entire capital structure, including debt and “debt-like instruments”.

The vehicle will focus on bilateral transactions, will actively seek complex transactions and will take a “generally conservative” approach to leverage.

Bregal Freshstream’s founding team comprises:
– managing partner Patrick Smulders, a former co-founder of Doughty Hanson and an investment committee member at TowerBrook;
– chief investment officer Rayhan Davis, a former managing director and member of the founding team of TowerBrook;
– Pascal Keutgens, previously an investment committee member at Doughty Hanson;
– Adam McLain, the former European general counsel at TowerBrook;
– Irmo Holslag, previously a business owner and a principal at TowerBrook;
– Giles Marshall, previously an investment manager at Bregal Capital.

Smulders confirmed to Private Equity International that Bregal Investments is willing to co-invest alongside Bregal Freshstream on transactions that are too large for the fund to complete on its own.

Bregal Investments was set up in 2002 to invest in private equity on behalf of COFRA Holdings, a Swiss-based holding company for a privately-owned group of companies. It invests in private equity both through fund commitments and directly. Bregal has invested more than €8 billion since 2002.

Bregal invests through a number of platforms, including Bregal Capital, which targets European mid-market investments, Bregal Partners, which targets North American mid-market investments, Bregal Energy, an energy-focused fund, Bregal Sagemount, which targets growth companies, and Bregal Private Equity Partners, which invests via funds, co-investments and secondaries, according to PEI’s Research & Analytics division.