TANEO, a fund of fund established in association with the Greek government, has made a first investment since successfully closing its debut fund on E150m last month.
The fund, which will back Greek private equity funds with a new economy investment mandate, has committed just under E12m to Capital Connect Venture Partners. A E24m mezzanine fund, Capital Connect will make investments in Greek small or medium-sized enterprises. The fund will make investments of between E1m and E3m per transaction.
TANEO provided 49.9 per cent of the fund’s capital. Other investors in the fund were foreign institutional investors, including the pension fund of Espirito Santo, a Portuguese bank, the CMA Technology Venture Partners fund of funds and private investors active in the maritime sector.
Capital Connect, headed by Mathios Rigas, will be managing the fund. Rigas said that the firm would look to provide “a major breakthrough” for SMEs, which would be given access to a new financing tool to assist their development. George Kintis, chief executive of the New Economy Development Fund (TANEO), said that institutional and private investors had shown faith in the Capital Connect fund “despite the difficulties faced by international capital markets.”
The commitment to Capital Connect is the first investment to be made by TANEO after it raised E105m through an issue of debt notes. The issue, coordinated by Deutsche Bank, NBI International and EFG Telesis Finance, was significantly oversubscribed by 34 Greek and foreign institutional investors. The proceeds from the notes were coupled with a E45m investment from the Greek government.
TANEO’s capital will be invested in venture capital funds, where TANEO intends to provide up to 50 per cent of each fund’s capital, which will in turn be investing in innovative Greek SMEs.