Gimv raises €560m for Flemish fund

The private equity firm has signed up its first external institutional investors for the Gimv-XL Fund: three major Benelux-based financial services groups.

Belgium private equity firm Gimv has attracted a further €60 million in commitments to its Flanders-focused growth equity vehicle, the Gimv-XL Fund. The fund held a first close in December, having raised €500 million from co-sponsors Gimv and VPN, an investment vehicle owned by the Flemish Region.

The fund now has its first three external institutional investors. European bank Dexia, insurance company Ethias and financial services company ING Belgium have committed a total of €60 million. Talks are ongoing with other investors and a second close is planned after the summer, the firm said in a statement.

Gimv-XL has completed two deals since its launch in December 2008. In December it co-invested alongside listed Belgian fund DG Infra+ in Electrawinds, a renewable energy company. In March it invested €75 million in Vandemoortele, a 110 year-old Belgian family food business which employs around 5,600 staff across 12 European countries.

The fund focuses 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 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.

VPN, which seeded the fund with €250 million – matched by Gimv – in December, is a shareholder in Gimv, owning 27 percent of the company.