Natixis sponsors Dutch fund, eyes Indian affiliate

The French bank’s private equity arm is continuing to amass affiliates in foreign markets, having in the past year backed Swedish and Chinese funds.

Natixis Private Equity has added another European affiliate to its roster and will soon reveal an Indian partner. A Natixis Private Equity spokeswoman confirmed negotiations in India but declined to provide further details.

The private equity arm of the French bank has become the sponsor for Holland Venture Partners, providing a “significant part” of  the firm’s recently closed €70 million fund, NPE Holland Venture Partners Fund I.

The Dutch private equity market has always been showing good investment opportunities regarding small and mid-cap companies.

Francois Feige

The SME-focused fund, which also includes contributions from Dutch private investors, features NPE as its sole sponsor and institutional investor, marking the latest foreign firm to become a part of the NPE network.

In the past year, NPE has also backed Granitix, a new lower mid-market buyout team based in Stockholm, as well as a Chinese venture fund. Its other foreign affiliates include firms in Spain, Italy, Poland and Brazil.

The HVP fund will look to benefit from opportunities including those stemming from deregulation and demographic trends, writing equity cheques of €3 million to €13 million for stakes in Dutch companies.

“The Dutch private equity market has always been showing good investment opportunities regarding small and mid cap companies, NPE board member François Feige said in a statement. “For months, we have been looking for a high quality partnership with people having a recognised track record and a very good business network like Ewout Prins, Hubert Verbeek and Jos Houben.”

The three professionals he notes took over Holland Venture Partners from Rolf Deves, who founded the firm in 1981. He led the investment of the firm’s four prior funds, the first three of which had internal rates of return exceeding 24 percent, according to the firm’s website. Verbeek and Prins were investment mangers for the most recent Holland Venture fund, which has around €150 million of committed capital, while Houben was previously a director for Rabo Private Equity.