Riverside to target at least €550m for fourth Europe fund

Following the completion of its 19th acquisition this year, the mid-market specialist is lining up the launch of its fourth European fund.

The Riverside Company will soon go to market for its fourth European fund, expected to be at least double the firm’s third European fund, which closed on €320 million at the beginning of 2007.

Following the investment of its Europe Fund III, Riverside intends to commence fundraising for Europe Fund IV in the last quarter of 2008. While a figure has not been formally agreed, the target for its next European fund will be at least double that of its predecessor.

The private equity firm, which is focused on the smaller end of the mid-market, also recently acquired UK queuing products manufacturer, Tensator, for an undisclosed sum. The deal represents Riverside’s eighth investment this year on behalf of its third European fund, Europe Fund III, and the firm’s 19th globally.

Tensator, and its US subsidiary Lawrence Metal Products, sells its products to a broad range of clients across the globe, including Heathrow Airport, Barclays, Macy’s, Southwest Airlines, Target and The Empire State Building.

The company’s flagship product is the Tensabarrier, a “retractable webbing queue management post”.

in line for investment

Eric van den Eijnden, the partner at Riverside who led the deal from Amsterdam, underlined the current resilience of the lower mid-market.

“We closed this deal in 70 days, which is even faster than normal. We are seeing a lot of potential deals and pricing has yet to change significantly.”

Debt funding for the transaction was arranged by Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets in the UK.

Riverside typically targets deal of between €50 and €150 million.  Its most recent European acquisitions include precision steel machining company MekoTeknik and manufacturer SPX Air Filtration, both based in Sweden.