Gimv raises €609m for Flemish growth fund

The firm has complemented its joint-cornerstone investment with the Flemish state by garnering €109m of private capital.

European mid-market firm Gimv has closed its “XL” fund on €609 million. The fund will be invested in businesses with an enterprise value of between €75 million and €750 million in Flanders – the Northern region of Belgium.

Gimv-XL was seeded with a €500 million commitment split evenly between Gimv and VPN, an investment vehicle owned by the Flemish Region, which is also a shareholder in Gimv.

External investors to back Gimv-XL include Dexia Insurance Belgium and BNP Paribas Fortis’ private equity investment arm. A group of high net worth individuals have also invested in the fund via an investment company set up by BNP Paribas Fortis’ private banking arm.

These LPs join insurance company Ethias and financial services company ING Belgium, which participated in the fund’s second close in June 2009.

The fund is looking to make between 10 and 15 investments of up to €100 million in healthy businesses with the potential to expand their operations beyond the Flanders region.

The fund has a 14-year maximum life span and has already deployed a total of €128 million – a fifth of its available funds – in two investments: renewable energy company Electrawinds and food business Vandemoortele.

Gimv chief executive officer Koen Dejonckheere said the fundraising had surpassed its initial objective, adding he was pleased with “the rich mix of financial institutions, entrepreneurial families and wealthy private persons who are favourably disposed towards this initiative”.