KJK hits first close on third Balkan & Baltics fund – exclusive

The firm – which was launched in 2010 by four former Danske Capital executives – gathered €138m for KJK Fund III en route to its €250m cap.

KJK Management, a Balkan and Baltics investor, has reached a first close on its third private and public equity vehicle, Private Equity International has learned.

The Luxembourg-based firm – which was launched in 2010 by four former Danske Capital executives – has gathered €138 million for KJK Fund III en route to its €250 million cap, managing partner Kustaa Aima told PEI. It is expected to reach final close in the next 12 months.

“KJK III has found strong support from our traditional client base and a select number of new investors to exceed the fund’s first closing target of €75 million to €125 million,” Aima said.

KJK held pre-marketing conversations in May with 100 existing limited partners in countries including Finland, Denmark, Estonia and Lithuania, PEI reported at the time. KJK’s previous vehicle, two sub-funds with 2012- and 2014-vintages, secured €125 million from a mix of insurance companies, pension funds and high-net-worth individuals.

Fund III will target approximately 15 investments ranging from €10 million to €30 million, which could either be buyouts or stakes in publicly traded companies, in Balkan countries such as Romania, Croatia and Slovenia and the three Baltic states, Aima told PEI in May. Fund I and Fund II were split equally between public and private equities, and the new vehicle will not have a specific allocation to either asset class.

Aima previously served as head of Eastern European investments at Danske Capital. He  and his co-founders Jaakko Salmelin, Martynas Cesnavicius and Kari Salonen were formely part of ING Group’s Finnish investment management team, until it was sold to Danske Bank in 2000. The team left Danske Capital to found KJK in 2010 and have completed 23 investments.