Idinvest buys stake in French venture firm

French asset manager IdInvest Partners has bought a 40% stake in Kurma Life Sciences Partners, a venture firm founded by two of its former executives, in a deal that provides an exit for previous backer Natixis Private Equity.

Idinvest Partners, which earlier this week closed a senior debt fund on €281 million, has acquired a 40 percent stake in Kurma Life Sciences Partners, a Paris-based venture capital firm founded in mid-2009 by Thierry Laugel and Remi Drolle, two former Idinvest executives. 

As part of the deal, KLS management has increased its equity investment in the management company, according to a statement from Idinvest and KLS. 

Natixis Private Equity, which previously owned a stake in the firm, has now exited its investment, the pair added. Natixis could not be reached for comment. 

Idinvest chief executive Christophe Bavière said: “This investment comes after 10 years of our teams working together. When Thierry and Remi founded KLS partners, they continued providing insight on Idinvest Partners’ health sector investments. We are delighted to be able to pursue this partnership, which rounds out Idinvest’s own ample expertise in digital and cleantech.”

Bavière, speaking to Private Equity International, said the partnership was a close one. Asked about the level of involvement that Idinvest will have in KLS, he explained his firm was “not intending to play a day-today role in management” but would seek to play “more of an advisory role”.  He also confirmed that this deal, being the result of the two companies shared history, was a one-off and added Idinvest would not be looking to strike similar deals with any other venture capital firms.

Thierry Laugel and Remi Droller described the deal as “the logical next step after years of superb teamwork”. 

KLS has also launched its second fund, Kurma Biofund II, which has been seeded with €7.5 million from Idinvest and has received commitments from CDC Enterprises, GSK and NEA. It is understood to have raised €44 million to date.