NBGI launches €100m French fund

The London-based buyout firm is opening an operation in France recruiting former NewBridge co-founder Didier Riebel and ex-SPEF LBO managing director Laurent Allégot. The firm is targeting €100m with its first dedicated French vehicle.

NBGI Private Equity, the London-based buyout shop, has launched its first dedicated French fund targeting €100 million ($159 million) in equity commitments.

The fund is part of the firm’s expansion into France, and comes as NBGI opens an office in Paris. The Paris operation is being led by former NewBridge Partners co-founder Didier Riebel and Laurent Allégot , previously managing director with SPEF LBO, a subsidiary of Natixis Private Equity.

The fund will focus on buyouts and recapitalisations of small to medium-sized companies as well as growth equity investments, with investments of between €3 million to €15 million per transaction.

Speaking to PEO, Riebel said the team was not concentrating on specific sectors within France but more on “company situations, whether it be capital development, a traditional LBO or even a turnaround. We are interested in the situation of a company rather than the type of investment.”

NBGI has previously invested in light industrial manufacturing and services, construction materials and services, business services, consumer products, healthcare, agri-businesses and retail and distribution.

Riebel added the firm was about to hold its first close on NBGI France Fund with around €50 million of commitments. A second close would follow shortly afterwards, with a final close expected at €100 million.

In a statement, NBGI chairman and chief executive officer Pavlos Stellakis said the appointment of Riebel and Allégot would help expand NGBI’s investment strategy from the UK to France.

Riebel was a founding partner of Paris-based turnaround company NewBridge Partners advising large corporations and private equity funds. It operated mainly in the manufacturing industry, capital equipment and B2B. Allégot was previously managing director of SPEF LBO, a subsidiary of Natixis Private Equity that specialised in MBOs and owner buyouts. They have joined NBGI as partners.

NBGI raised its debut fund in 2000, closing on €100 million. It is now investing its second fund with £100 million ($200 million; €126 million) of commitments.