Parquest exceeds hard-cap on latest fund

The French player has raised €310m for Parquest Capital 2, which will invest in French SMEs.

Parquest Capital has held a first and final close on its second fund after seven months in market, according to a statement from the firm.

The oversubscribed Parquest Capital 2 exceeded both its €250 million target and its €300 million hard-cap to close on €310 million.

The fund’s terms and conditions and fee structure were “market standard”, founding partner Denis Le Chevallier told Private Equity International. He declined to comment on the GP commitment to the fund.

Capstone Partners served as exclusive placement agent on the fundraise. Clifford Chance acted as legal advisors to the fund.

Parquest Capital 2 received “significant interest” from both existing and new investors, which include funds of funds, pension funds, financial institutions, insurance companies, and government agencies, the firm said.

Le Chevallier told PEI that around two-thirds of the fund’s LPs are international, and the remainder are French.

The vehicle’s predecessor, the €300 million Parquest Capital 1, was created in 2014 as part of a spin-out from NN Group, the insurance company arm of ING Group, which remained a cornerstone investor in the new fund. At that point the group, originally called ING Parcom Private Equity, was renamed Parquest Capital. The additional LPs in the debut fund, of which there were around 10, include LGT Capital Partners, Idinvest and Five Arrows.

That fund is fully invested and Parquest will begin to invest Fund II immediately. The new fund will continue the strategy of its predecessor, seeking buyout transactions of between €20 million and €150 million in France across three core sectors: business-to-business services, consumer goods and retail, and healthcare.

In the statement, Le Chevallier said the “key success factors” of the fundraising are the firm’s “cohesive, stable and highly experienced team of 12 professionals; our proactive sector driven approach that capitalises on the team’s deep sector knowledge and networks; and our systematic hands-on approach when it comes to the transformation of our portfolio companies”.

Le Chevallier told PEI that since the group’s inception in 2002 it has delivered an average return of 2.9x on all realised exits.