N1 Mercapital CEO resigns

Javier Loizaga has resigned following a strategy disagreement with his other partners.

N+1 Mercapital, a Spanish buyout firm, has lost its chief executive Javier Loizaga, PEI has learnt.

In a letter to investors seen by PEI, N+1 Mercapital said the “key reason” for Loizaga’s resignation was a “discrepancy between him and the rest of the partners of N+1 Mercapital over the resources to be committed by the firm to raising local funds in Latin America”.

“As a result, Javier decided not to be the leader of the team that will be raising the Spanish International Growth Private Equity Fund,” according to the letter.

It is understood Loizaga’s departure as chief executive did not trigger a key-man clause.

N+1 and Mercapital decided to team up last year to reinforce their international expansion. Following the merger, Loizaga became co-chairman and CEO of the new entity. The merger gave N+1 access to Mercapital’s substantial presence in Latin America.

The two firms planned to manage out their existing funds, before raising a joint fund that would target Spanish mid-market companies with clear international expansion plans, mainly in Latin America.

It is understood Loizaga wanted to raise local funds in Latin America, while the other N+1 Mercapital partners preferred to stick to the current strategy, according to a source. The N+1 Mercapital team felt it would need local resources and a local partner to team up with if it was going to raise a separate Latin American fund.

N+1 Mercapital declined to comment.

While the firm elects a new chief executive officer, Ignacio Moreno, managing partner of N+1 Mercapital, will temporarily take up the role. Prior to the merger, Morenco had been the chief executive of N+1 Private Equity. He has also been a senior director at Mercapital.

It is understood Mercapital Spanish Buy Out Fund III, a €500 million 2006-vintage, is fully invested, with some left over capital for add-on acquisitions. N+1 Private Equity Fund II, a €300 million 2008-vintage, is understood to be approximately 70 percent invested.

N+1 Mercapital will focus on exiting a few investments before coming to market in the second half of next year to raise its first fund after the merger. The Spanish International Growth Private Equity Fund will target €500 million, according to the source.