MB Funds closes fund III on E117m

Nineteen Finnish institutions have committed to the fund, which will invest in management buyouts across the Nordic region.

(PrivateEquityCentral.net) Finnish private equity firm MB Funds has held a final close on E117m for its third fund, MB Equity Fund III.


The fund, which was launched in early 2002, attracted 19 Finnish institutional investors, the majority of which were public and corporate pension schemes and insurance companies. Most of the committed capital came from institutions, which had contributed to earlier MB funds, but the firm was also able to widen its investor base.


MB Funds was the in-house private equity arm of banking group Sampo before spinning out last year. The firm specializes in Nordic management buyouts, privatizations and outsourcing projects. Two investments have already been made from Fund III: a buy-and-build transaction involving Inspecta and SFS-Sertifionti and the privatisation of the Finnish vehicle inspection company.


Earlier this month, MB Funds hired its sixth partner, Eero Niiva. Last month, the firm acquired Suomen Autokatsastus, the Finnish motor vehicle inspection company in a E59m privatisation transaction from the Finnish government.


Prior to the close of Fund III, MB Funds had E290m under management across five funds. The firm has made 20 investments across the Nordic region since 1988. Portfolio companies include Engel Group, Panda, Medivire, Finnish Chemicals, and Inspecta.


Despite a sustained global economic downturn the Finnish private equity industry has experienced significant growth in the last twelve months. Finnish private equity and venture capital firms raised E814m in 2002, almost double the amount raised the previous year.


In December, Helsinki-based private equity firm CapMan closed its latest direct investment fund, CapMan Equity VII, on E253.3m. In January, Finnish-based mezzanine provider Nordic Mezzanine held a first close of its second fund on E150m. The fund is targeting a final close in excess of E200m by the middle of this year.