Montagu spin-out raises €50m

London- and Paris-based Vespa Capital is halfway towards the €100m target for its debut mid-market fund.

Vespa Capital, founded by former members of mid-market firm Montagu Private Equity, has raised €50 million from a network of private investors. The fund is targeting up to €100 million for investments in the UK and France.

Nigel Hammond, previously head of European investment at Montagu, and Matt Lyons, formerly a Montagu director, will run the business in the UK while Denis Leroy, also ex-Montagu, and Valmy Nicolas, previously of French private equity firm Ciclad, will run the French operation.

All the capital raised so far has come from past or present chief executives of Montagu portfolio companies, said Vespa co-founder Nigel Hammond in an interview. Having a network of entrepreneurs as investors and investment committee members is “very positive for dealflow”, said Hammond, who added that further commitments will be sought from other individuals, as well as family offices, funds of funds and selected institutions.

The fund has yet to make an investment, although the Vespa management team did execute a one-off buyout deal in March 2008 of UK-based holiday company James Villas. The deal, which was unrelated to the new fund, was bankrolled by individuals from the fund’s investor group.

Vespa has offices in Paris, London and Tonbridge Wells in Kent.