Central and eastern European buyout firm Mid Europa Partners has held the first close of its third fund on over €1 billion ($1.36 billion).
Mid Europa has capped the fund at €1.5 billion, which it intends to raise by the fourth quarter of 2007. MVision Private Equity Advisers is acting as global placement agent for the fund.
Mid Europa’s fund recaptures the record held briefly by Enterprise Investor’s €658 million Polish Enterprise Fund raised last year. Enterprise took the crown held by Mid Europa’s second fund at €650 million, also raised in 2006.
Craig Butcher, co-founder of Mid Europa, said: “The fund is a noteworthy milestone which along with three or four billion Euro plus transactions this year reflects the region is going mainstream.” European Union membership for many of the states is one of the key factors feeding increased investor demand, Butcher said.
The region is not regarded solely as an emerging market now and this is reflected in the funding provided by banks, he said.
Earlier this month AIG bought the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company for €1.6 billion from Thor Bjorgolfsson.
Rival Advent International completed a reorganisation of its central and eastern European team with the opening of its Kiev office earlier this week.
The fund will invest between €50 million to €200 million in companies with enterprise values of up to €1 billion. Mid Europa advises and manages funds with committed capital of approximately €2.1 billion.