Enterprise Investors closes Polish Enterprise Fund on record €658m

The central and eastern European veteran manager has closed the largest fund ever for the region, turning away €600m of commitments, and plans to extend its activity to the Ukraine and Croatia.

Enterprise Investors, the largest private equity firm in central and eastern Europe, has closed its latest fund, Polish Enterprise Fund VI on €658 million ($834 million), making it the biggest fund ever raised for the region.

For the first time Enterprise Investors is actively pursuing investment opportunities in Ukraine and Croatia. Poland, however, will remain the core market for the firm as well as for private equity in the region generally.

The fund is more than twice the size of its predecessor and is three quarters the size of all the capital Enterprise Investors has ever invested from its five predecessor funds. In its 16-year exsitence Enterprise Investora has invested €897 million in 102 companies.

The firm said demand from existing as well as new investors was strong, and the fund was two times oversubscribed. Fundraising started in late May and closed in just 3 months, without using a placement agent.

Returning investors include AlpInvest, CalPERS, EIF, HarbourVest, LGT, MetLife and Partners Group.

While Adams Street Partners, Allianz Private Equity Partners, Bregal, HRJ Capital, Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners, Pantheon, SUVA and Wilshire are among the new investors.

The fund, which includes a 1.25 percent commitment from the general partner, will focus on mid-market leveraged buyouts and expansion capital, targeting companies in established sectors where the firm can claim expertise, it said. 

Jacek Siwicki, managing partner with the firm, said in a statement: “We will remain focused on buyouts valued between €30 million and €150 million and do not plan to significantly increase the average investment size beyond equity stakes of €30 million to €50 million.”

Having established itself in Poland, Enterprise extended its investment activity to other countries of the region. Like its predecessors, the new fund will focus on Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, and the Baltic countries.

Enterprise Investors has a team of 30 investment executives, including 12 partners, who operate from the firm’s offices in Warsaw, Bucharest and New York.

The previous fund managed by Enterprise Investors, the €300 million Polish Enterprise Fund V, raised in early 2004, is almost fully invested. Two investments have already been exited, and the portfolio now numbers nine companies. The last two commitments were made very recently, and those deals will be funded before the end of 2006.

With the closing of PEF VI, total funds raised by the firm amount to €1.6 billion. The firm has exited 85 companies, with total realizations in excess of €1.1 billion.

In 2005 to 2006 alone, a string of successful exits generated approximately €376 million in proceeds for the firm.