IFE Conseil launches second mezz fund

The Paris-based mezzanine specialist has fired the starting pistol on its latest fund, which has a €300 million target.

IFE Conseil (Intermediate Finance Europe Conseil) has announced the launch of IFE II, a new Luxembourg-incorporated SICAR vehicle that will focus on mid-cap mezzanine investments in France and continental Europe.

The €300 million ($391 million) target fund is the successor to IFE Fund I, which was launched with €180 million of capital in 2000 and which has recently completed its investment period.

In an interview with PEO, IFE Conseil founding partner Régis Mitjavile said the firm was hoping to achieve a first closing on around €200 million by the summer, with a final closing pencilled in for the end of this year. IXIS Corporate & Investment Bank is acting as placement agent to the fundraising.

Mitjavile added that he expected around half of the fund’s capital to come from existing investors. CDC Entreprises, the private equity arm of the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations Group, was a cornerstone investor in IFE I – accounting for 19 percent of the total – and has committed to invest 25 percent to IFE II (though this may be scaled back depending on the level of demand from other investors).

We are hoping to retain those banks this time around, while also attracting life insurance companies, pension funds and funds of funds

Regis Mitjavile

“The majority of investors in the first fund were banks,” said Mitjavile. “We are hoping to retain those banks this time around, while also attracting life insurance companies, pension funds and funds of funds.”

Mitjavile heads up a six-strong investment team at IFE that also includes partners Jean-Pascal Ley and Jean-Pierre Molin.

The firm has made 16 investments from its first fund, of which five have been realised to date. Portfolio companies include: Fraikin, the French truck and commercial vehicle hire firm; Global Garden Products, the pan-European lawnmower manufacturer; and CFP, the Italian maker of plastic film for food and medical packaging.