Realza beats target on debut fund close

The first fund from two veteran Spanish dealmakers has garnered €170m from a predominantly European investor base.

Realza Capital, a spin-out from Spanish private equity firm Mercapital, has closed its debut fund on €170 million. It began marketing 21 months ago with the aim to raise €120 million.

Elm Capital placed the fund and benefitted from a shift in investor appetite from mega- to mid-market fund, Etienne Deshorme, Elm’s founder, said in January when the firm held a first close on €110 million.

Investors in the fund include JPMorgan Private Equity, Crédit Agricole Asset Management Capital Investors, Dunedin Enterprise, Gartmore Private Equity, Industriens Pensionsforsikring, Capvent and Pohjola Private Equity Funds.

Roughly 95 percent of the investments came from European investors, with the remaining 5 percent from the US.

The firm was founded last year by two ex-Mercapital private equity veterans. Alfredo Zavala was with Mercapital for 17 years while Gonzalez del Valle, previously head of Spain for Investindustrial, spent six years at the firm.

Realza also recently appointed Javier Benjumea, also ex-Mercapital, as chairman.

The fund will make control investments in Spanish firms with an enterprise value of less than €15 million and €120 million. It agreed its first deal in October 2007 with the purchase of Perio, a chain of high-end dental practices in Madrid.

SJ Berwin advised Realza on fund formation.