European Capital to open offices in Frankfurt, Madrid

The affiliate of publicly traded buyout firm American Capital will expand its European franchise beyond its initial London and Paris footholds.

European Capital, an affiliate of publicly traded buyout firm American Capital, is planning to open offices in Frankfurt and Madrid, according to American Capital chairman, chief executive and president Malon Wilkus.

European Capital currently has offices in Paris, led by Jean Eichenlaub, and in London, led by Nathalie Faure Beaulieu and Simon Henderson.

Malon said no decision has yet been made as to how the new offices will be staffed.

European Capital was formed in October 2005 through a €750 million private fundraise. In February, the firm obtained a €400 million multi-currency revolving credit facility from Wachovia Bank and Harris Nesbitt that will allow European Capital to leverage its investment activity. The firm invests in the senior, subordinated and equity tranches of leveraged buyouts, as well as stand-alone mezzanine financings.

From its founding through the first half of this year, European Capital invested €488 million.

American Capital went public in 1997 and is one of the few private equity firms to list its management company. The firm has been competitive in the US buyout middle-market thanks to a low cost of capital and large infrastructure for vetting and doing deals. Currently the firm employs more than 450 people, with 50 employees in the London and Paris offices.