Gilde closes buyout fund

The Dutch private equity and VC investment manager has raised E530m from 25 international limited partners.

Gilde Investment Management, the Dutch private equity and venture capital investment firm, has closed its second European buyout fund.

The fund received new commitments from limited partners of E470m, plus an additional E60m made available for reinvestment from last year’s taking private and subsequent sale of Norit, the Dutch purification company.

Contributions came from international institutions comprising pension funds, insurance companies, funds of funds and banks. Dutch bank Rabobank, as it usually does in funds managed by Gilde, came in as an anchor investor.

Gilde started raising the fund in July 2000, intending to substantially expand its investor base. The firm wanted a large number of investors, after the previous buyout fund, a E364m evergreen vehicle, had been backed by just four LPs. “We are proud to have achieved our aim and signed up 25 investors in the fund. It’s a good result, particularly in the current climate”, a Gilde spokesperson said.

Gilde held a first closing in January of this year at just under 400m, raised mostly from sources that Gilde partners had strong personal relationships with. It then hired Salomon Smith Barney as a placement agent with the specific mandate of bringing in new investors from the US and Middle East.

“After the first closing, we felt that many of the prospective investors we had already approached would take comfort from a placement agent getting involved. To some we were a fairly novel story”, the spokesperson said.

Gilde, which has already invested 40 per cent of the capital, is focused on mid-market opportunities in the Benelux, France and Germany. It said that whilst the general appetite among investors for private equity lessened over the course of the fundraising exercise, the mood swung in favour of European mid-market buyout situations, making it a reasonably plain sailing through to the final closing.

Gilde has E1.6bn of capital under management. In addition to the European buyout business, it is active in three other areas: Gilde IT is a leading European technology investor. Closer to home, Gilde Participaties targets small, mostly Dutch leveraged buyouts. Food and Agri Business invests in start up companies involved with enabling technologies applicable in the food and agribusiness sector, and is capitalised at E125m.