TA buys into European asset manager

The firm has made 15 investments in asset management firms in more than 22 years. Its investment in French-based DNCA Finance represents its most recent foray into European financial services.

TA Associates has made another bet on a European asset manager, acquiring about half ownership in DNCA Finance, a French-based firm, in a deal that sets the value of the firm at about €375 million.

The deal, announced Thursday, follows the firm’s successful 2007 investment in Jupiter Fund Management, a UK asset manager that the firm floated on the London Stock Exchange last year. Jupiter raised £220 million in the initial public offering. Its share price debuted at 165 pence and was trading at 236.30 pence in late trading Thursday.

DNCA manages about €5.8 billion in funds across equity, bond, convertible and absolute return products investing in France and internationally. Through the deal, TA will become the largest shareholder, followed by the firm’s management, which will hold a 40 percent stake, and the original shareholders Gruppo Banca Leonardo, which will have a 10 percent stake.

TA, with offices in Boston and London, has long experience investing in financial services firms. The DNCA investment represents the 15th in the asset management sector. Earlier this year, the firm bought a stake for an undisclosed amount in US-based fund of hedge funds Evanston Capital Management.

TA has been active in Europe this year. The firm’s European team invested $350 million in Germany’s BigPoint, a gaming company. The firm also invested in ION Trading Group, an Ireland-based financial systems provider.

TA has been investing from its 11th fund, which closed on $4 billion in 2009, though it’s not clear from which fund the firm made the DNCA investment. The firm also has an offshore fund that raised $1.75 billion in 2007 and TA Subordinated Debt Fund III, which collected $520 million last year.