Gilde Buy Out Partners closes third fund on €600m

The former buyout arm of Dutch Rabobank has closed its first fund since spinning out of the bank on target after one year’s fundraising.

Gilde Buy Out Partners, a mid-market buyout firm with a focus on the Benelux and the French and German speaking regions, has held a final closing of Gilde Buy Out Fund III with total commitments at the original target of €600 million ($768.7 million).

Jacobovits de Szeged: Gilde deliberately looked to widen investor base

Natascha Jacobovits de Szeged, Gilde’s investor relations officer, said the fund had been oversubscribed, but was restricted to its hard cap target, 20 percent above its last fund. Citigroup placed the fund with investors.

Gilde’s success is in marked contrast to Taros Partners, a similar mid-market regional manager, that abandoned its fundraising after spinning out from AlpInvest, Europe’s biggest private equity investor.

Gilde received commitments from about 30 institutional investors in a year long fundraising. According to one investor it was a straight choice between Gilde and Taros. 

Three quarters of commitments to Gilde were from existing investors including Access Capital Partners, the Kuwait Investment Office and Proventure.

Rabobank, Gilde’s anchor investor and former legal parent, committed just under a third of the fund. Jacobovits de Szeged said Gilde has deliberately looked to widen its investor base. New investors include CAM Private Equity, Scottish Widows, Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen (Helaba) and F&C Asset Management.

Gilde plans to stay with its investment strategy of mid-market buyouts in the Benelux and neighbouring economies through its offices in the Netherlands, France and Switzerland.

Jacobovits de Szeged added: “On average our deals tend to range between €100 million and €300 million. We can underwrite up to 20 percent of the fund size in a single transaction and through co-investments with some of our investors we can occasionally consider larger buyouts.”

Boudewijn Molenaar, managing partner, Gilde

She said investors were impressed by the firm’s stability, headed by managing partner Boudewijn Molenaar, and its performance.

To date, Gilde Buy Out Partners has invested in 47 companies across a diverse range of sectors, of which it has realized 32 and generated an IRR in excess of 37% and a consistent average cash multiple of 2.5 times the original investment.

Gilde Buy Out Partners became fully independent from our former owner Rabobank in 2005.