French private equity firm XAnge Private Equity has closed its most recent fund, XPansion, on €50 million ($78 million).
The fund took 18 months to raise because the French market favoured buyouts and was not very open to expansion capital, according to chief executive Herve Schricke. “We anticipated the buyout market might go into more difficult times,” Schricke told PEO. “It seems we were right.”
The fund’s French investors include bank La Banque Postale, insurance company Assurances Générales de France, Caisse des Depots investment group CDC Capital management, insurance company CNP Assurances, insurance company MACIF, insurance company Mutuelle Generale and La Banque Postale fund Actys 2. They are joined by Belgian bank KBC Asset Management, Moroccan insurance company CNIA Assurances and Moroccan pension fund CIMR.
“This is the first time Moroccan companies have invested in private equity abroad,” said Schricke. Schricke believes that XAnge is the firm to take advantage of loosened Moroccan regulations.
XPansion will make minority investments of €1 million to €4 million each in European and US small-cap companies. Target companies will be profitable with enterprise values of €5 million to €50 million and revenues of over €5 m
XAnge closed its previous fund, venture fund XAnge Capital, on €65 million in 2003.