NextStage holds €61m first close

The French growth equity firm has raised a little more than half the target sum for its small cap fund after six months of marketing.

Growth equity firm NextStage has held a €61 million first close on its Champion Small Cap Fund II.
The fund is targeting a €120 million final close and will make  investments in French companies with enterprise values of between €5 million and €30 million, using little or no leverage.
NextStage began marketing the fund six months ago, with Acanthus Advisers as its placement agent. Commitments were made by French institutional investors and family offices, including Groupe Artémis, the financial holding of Francois Pinault, Caisse des Depots et Consignations and OFI Asset Management.
“In the current fundraising environment, this is a minor miracle or perhaps a sign of the renewed interest in growth equity, given the demise of leveraged buyouts,” Armand D’Amico, managing partner of Acanthus, said in an email.
NextStage was established in 2002, and manages both venture capital funds, local investment funds and innovation investment funds. Its portfolio companies include technology firm, Alyotech; printing services provider, Nessink; automobile maker, Gruau; video surveillance company, Aasset; and green space developer, Botanica.