LVMH affiliate closes fund

The LVMH affiliated private-equity group, L Capital, has closed on roughly €325 million for its follow-up investment vehicle.

France-based L Capital, the private equity investment arm of luxury goods company Louis Vuitton Möet Hennessy (LVMH), has held a final close for its second fund, L Capital 2 FCPR, amassing roughly €325 million ($390 million) in commitments. The fund hit its target, according to director Jean Cailliau.

L Capital, like LVMH, takes a high-end approach to its investments and is active in the retail segment and other consumer areas. The firm will take a minority or control stake in its deals, and will typically invest between €15 million and €30 million at a time.

LVMH began its push into private equity in 1999, when it launched L Capital’s forerunner, LV Capital. The investment arm was initially completely funded by LVMH and sat as a unit within the conglomerate. LV Capital had invested in fashion names such as shirt maker Thomas Pink and Inter Parfums, the distributor of the Burberry brand of fragrances.

In 2001, the LV Capital team decided to branch out and take on outside capital, and to do so re-branded itself as L Capital. The group was formally established in 2001, raising €264 million for its first vehicle. LVMH contributed 40 percent of the capital in the inaugural fund.

The firm is headed by Daniel Piette, who serves as a president. Jean Cailliau, Yves Fourchy, Philippe Francheta and Lucio Ranaudo are all listed as directors at the firm, which maintains offices in Paris and Milan, according to reports.

LVMH contributed roughly 25 percent of the capital in the firm’s new fund, with additional commitments coming from institutional investors in the US and Europe.

L Capital has been fairly active in 2005. It acquired a control stakes in French video game retailer Micromania and also bought out Emu Group SpA, an Italian maker of outdoor furniture. Past investments include deals for leather goods maker Antichi Pellettieri and cosmetic surgery start-up Advanced Aesthetics. L Capital’s first realisation came in 2003, when it sold its US-based enhanced-water company Energy Brands to TSG Consumer Partners.