Siparex closes mid-market fund on E146m

The French private equity house has come close to exceeding the target for its third mid-market fund.

French private equity group Siparex has closed its third middle-market fund, SPF III, on E146m, well within its original E100m to E150m target range.


The fund will look to invest between E3m and E10m in large mid cap companies, taking both majority and minority positions in leveraged buyouts and expansion capital transactions. Around 70 per cent of the fund’s capital is earmarked for the LBO market.


Siparex is mainly targeting French companies with a market capitalisation of between E15m and E150m.


The new fund, which held its final closing on December 31, achieved its aim of securing a quarter of its capital commitments from overseas investors. 26 per cent of the fund’s capital originated outside France, including investments from CERN (Switzerland), The Mouvement Desjardins pension fund (Canada), and NIF Ventures (Japan). Further details of invested institutions have not been disclosed.


The third fund is the successor to SPF II, which raised E90m in 1997. SPF II is currently 95 per cent invested, holding equity in 55 companies. Investors in fund II included Royal Bank of Scotland, Short Brothers pension fund and GE Capital.


Siparex also operates a venture division, which accounts for around a third of the its funds under management. Last year, it launched three new FCPI (Fond Commun de Placement dans l'’Innovation) 'innovation funds', totalling E36m. The FCPI funds provide customers of the three participating banks, Crédit Agricole Asset Management, Banque SanPaolo, and Financière Meeschaert, with the chance to invest in venture opportunities alongside the Siparex Ventures I Fund.


The firm’s other venture capital offering, the listed Siparex Croissance fund, completed investments worth E13m in 2002, similar to the 2001 figure, and gross capital gains were up by 22 per cent at E15m.