New European fund to target €600m

Balmoral Capital, a new private equity firm headed by Richard Winckles and Alec D’Janoeff, is seeking to raise around €600m for its debut pan-European fund.

Richard Winckles and Alec D’Janoeff are set to hit the fundraising trail for a new €600m pan-European private equity fund.

According to market sources, Balmoral Capital is hoping to become a major mid-market player in Europe. It is understood the firm wishes to raise at least €600 million ($746 million) so it can invest €50m to €100m in individual deals.

The firm is believed to be in talks with key potential investors ahead of a planned fundraising launch in around two months’ time. According to Financial News, London-based Mvision has been appointed as placement agent.     

Winckles and D’Janoeff headed CSFB Private Equity’s European operations from London until November 2001, when they were among seven executives to leave the business following CSFB’s decision to scale back its private equity operation and run it from New York.

Winckles was hired in May 1999 from Schroder Ventures (now Permira), where he was a member of the founding team alongside Jon Moulton as well as a partner and European board member. He and D’Janoeff, who was appointed in 1996 from Coopers & Lybrand to build a European investment team, oversaw CSFB’s £400 million acquisition of Gala Group, the bingo and casino operator, in 2000.

At the time of their departure from CSFB, Gala CEO John Kelly said he was “desperately sorry” to see them go and that they had made an “enormous contribution” to Gala. CSFB went on to sell Gala to private equity firms Candover and Cinven for €1.7 billion last year.

While at Schroder Ventures, Winckles oversaw the firm’s investment in dental manufacturer Sirona Dental Systems, which was sold by Permira to Nordic private equity firm EQT for €417.5 million in November 2003. He also led the buyouts of Port of Tilbury and Sheffield Forgemasters.