Moscow-based UFG Private Equity has garnered a $50 million commitment from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
According to the EBRD’s published project list, it has been considering investing in UFG Private Equity Fund II – the firm’s second fund – since April 2008.
So far, UFG has raised $150 million towards its target, which it has dramatically reduced in the wake the global
economic turmoil and its subsequent dampening effects on capital raising. It is understood the fund size has been pared down from an upper limit of $700 million to just $200 million.
The fund will follow its predecessor’s strategy of acquiring stakes in mid-market companies in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, particularly those which require capital restructuring or which plan to pursue consolidation opportunities.
As well as tapping the EBRD for equity, UFG has also managed to attract a former head of its St. Petersburg office. Robert Sasson has joined the firm as senior managing partner to run the business alongside current chairman Charles Ryan. Most recently, Sasson had been working on private equity deals for US hedge fund, Moore Capital Management.
The EBRD has proved a valuable hotbed of talent for private equity firms looking to expand in the emerging markets of Central and Eastern Europe and Russia. EBRD alumni have joined Zurich-based fund of funds manager Alpha Associates, London-based Brunel Capital, Emerging Europe-focused Acoro Capital Parnters and UK-based buyout firm Candover.