Gimv launches growth fund with €500m

The Benelux investor has held the first close for its XL Fund, having matched €250m from the Flemish government with its own money.

Benelux private equity firm Gimv has held the first close for its XL fund – a vehicle targeting growth companies in the Flemish mid-market – on €500 million. The Flemish government has committed €250 million, which has been matched by Gimv.

Gimv, which has bases in Belgium, France and the Netherlands, will seek further capital from external investors. The firm has not stipulated a target fund size, but has said it intends to make between 10 and 15 investments of up to €100 million each – suggesting a fund size of up to roughly €1.5 billion.

The fund will focus on companies with an enterprise value of between €75 million and €750 million in good health and with scope to expand outside the Flemish market.

The fund will address “an obvious need for capital with the larger growth companies in Flanders”, said Gimv chief executive Koen Dejonckheere in a statement.

Gimv’s other vehicles include the Biotech Fonds Vlaanderen, a Flemish biotech venture fund, and DG Infra+, a joint venture with European banking group Dexia focusing on infrastructure projects in Belgium.

In related news, DG Infra+ this week participated alongside Gimv in a €30 million funding round for wind, biomass and solar energy company Electrawinds. Gimv contributed €25 million and DG Infra+ invested €5 million through a subordinated loan with warrants.

Earlier this week Gimv, which is listed on Euronext Brussels, netted €7 million from the sale of food ingredient company Sfinc to Axa Private Equity.