Dutch retail bank Rabobank has sold its private equity subsidiary Gilde Investment Management to management for an undisclosed sum.
Founded in 1982, Gilde Investment Management has been part of the Rabobank Group since 1996. Its range of active funds currently comprises Gilde Buyout Funds I, II and III, Gilde Europe Food & Agribusiness Fund BV (Gilde Biotech) and Gilde Participaties BV (Gilde Equity Investment).
Rabobank held a 100 percent ownership of Gilde Investment Management prior to the transaction and has now fully exited, although it will continue to invest in all of Gilde’s future funds as a limited partner, according to a spokesperson for the private equity firm.
The transaction would make it “much easier to attract outside investors but there are no plans to change its current structure,” said the spokesperson, adding that Gilde made the first closing of its third buyout fund yesterday at €447 million.
Gilde Investment Management focuses on buyouts, business successions and growth companies, with 34 staff in offices in Utrecht, Paris and Zurich. Gilde manages funds in excess of €1.5 billion and has invested in over 200 companies.
Rabobank will also remain active in private equity through Rabo Private Equity, which currently has invested capital of €150 million and targets Dutch companies via buyouts and growth financing.
The Gilde deal follows a trend in recent years for banks to divest their private equity arms, following regulatory changes known as Basel II, which require banks to hold a percentage of cash in reserve for every €100 invested in the asset class in order to more accurately reflect their risk profile.
A recent example is HSBC Holdings, which in 2003 sold its stake in HSBC Private Equity to existing management, which subsequently renamed the business Montague Private Equity.
Other banks such as ABN AMRO, however, have retained their private equity operations. ABN AMRO Capital, which acquired Spanish plumbing materials company Neuva Terrain in July, currently manages €2 billion of capital, of which €140 million comes from third-party investors in the UK and France.