Advent closes third CEE fund

Advent International has held a final close of its latest fund dedicated to Central and Eastern Europe on €330m, ahead of its original target.

Global private equity firm Advent International has closed its third fund dedicated to the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region on €330 million ($425 million).

The fund, ACEE III, will target investments across the region in high-growth companies in the media, communications, healthcare, construction materials, financial services and retail sectors according to a press release. The fund was launched in the first quarter of 2004.

Investors in the fund include AlpInvest, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Teachers’ Private Capital. Speaking to PEO, Joanna James, managing director for CEE at Advent, said that almost all of the firm’s existing investors had re-upped for the new fund,  providing around half the capital in the process. The rest came from investors that had not previously invested in CEE, she said.

The investor base was predominantly European according to James: 'When we went out in early 2004, EU accession was a big story and attracted a lot of interest across the Atlantic, but a lot of US investors weren't ready to make a decision.'

Commenting on the close, James said in a statement: “It is an exciting time to be working in Central Europe, with all the changes brought about by actual or prospective EU membership. This area is showing by far the highest growth in Europe and we expect this to be sustained for some considerable time to come.”

James heads up  the Advent team that began investing in CEE in 1994. Since then, the firm has invested in 26 companies through its two previous funds and has offices in Bucharest, Budapest and Istanbul.

In February, the firm completed its first deal from the new fund, backing Turkish car fleet rental company Intercity for an undisclosed sum along with Turkven Private Equity. Last year the firm completed the long-running acquisition of Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC) from the Bulgarian government.

Advent’s previous funds dedicated to the region totalled $58 million and $180 million respectively. In June last year, Warsaw-headquartered Enterprise Investors closed its fifth fund dedicated to the CEE region on €300 million.