Alfa closes debut Russian buyout fund

Moscow-based Alfa Capital Partners has closed its debut private equity fund on $200 million to invest in Russia and Ukraine.

Alfa Capital Partners, the private equity and real estate business of Russia’s Alfa Bank, has raised $200 million for its debut private equity fund. The firm has been investing in infrastructure and real estate since its inception in 2003.

The fund, which is led by chief executive Richard Sobel, won commitments from twelve investors, some US and some European.

It has completed two deals to date – one of which has not yet been disclosed while the other is high-end Russian fitness club chain World Class which it bought in April 2006.

The fund will invest in management buyouts, expansion capital, consolidation plays and co-investment opportunities. It will concentrate on mid-market companies in the consumer, media, retail and healthcare sectors.

Sobel, who has been at Alfa since 2003, previously raised and invested Baring Asset Management’s $160 million First Regional NIS Fund with managing partner of Baring Vostok Capital Partners Michael Calvey. Baring Vostok Capital Partners, which evolved out of Baring Asset Management, recently raised a $1 billion fund – Russia’s biggest ever buyout fund.

Alfa Capital Partners now manages $651 million through three funds – private equity, real estate and infrastructure.