Strong demand for Apax France vehicle

A new vehicle established by the French subsidiary of global private equity firm Apax Partners has raised gross proceeds of just over €114m from its IPO on Euronext Paris.

Shares in Amboise Investissement, a co-investment fund launched by Apax Partners France, were oversubscribed by 1.5 times when the vehicle made its debut on Euronext Paris yesterday.

The offer price for the shares was set at €12.2 each, at the top end of the stated price range of between €11.2 and €12.2. A statement from Apax said that, in response to the high level of demand, the number of new shares issued was hiked from a planned 8.5 million to 9.35 million. Gross proceeds from the offering totalled €114.1 million ($137.9 million).

The statement from Apax added that French investors (excluding partners of Apax and members of the Amboise board) represented almost 50 percent of institutional demand for the offering, while UK investors accounted for over 40 percent.

Amboise currently comprises a number of investments worth up to €45 million each in Apax-backed companies including Financiere Helios, Almapax and Alain Afflelou.

Going forward, Amboise will invest and divest pari passu with funds managed by Apax Partners France, as well as with Altamir & Cie, an existing Apax Partners France co-investment vehicle that was launched in 1995 when Apax France was raising its fourth fund.   

Apax said Amboise has sufficient cash to cover its co-investment requirements for the next 12 to 18 months.

Apax France partner Monique Cohen told PEO the firm had not originally planned to launch a new co-investment vehicle at all, but rather to carry out a capital increase at Altamir. However, Altamir shareholders “recognised that their existing portfolio was high quality and didn’t want to dilute it”, she said. As a result, the capital increase plan was voted down at a shareholder meeting.

However, Cohen said she anticipated that Altamir and Amboise would be merged sometime during the next three to four years, by which time Altamir will have sold most of its current investments.

Cohen said Apax Partners France is currently investing from its €700 million sixth fund, which closed in 2000. She said the firm is currently in exclusivity on three deals and that, if all three deals complete, the firm should then be in a position to start raising a seventh fund “by the summer” of this year.

Headed by co-founder and chairman Maurice Tchenio, Apax France is the French subsidiary of London-based global private equity firm Apax Partners, which has 11 offices around the world and around €12 billion under management.