Renaissance Partners closes fund on $660m

The private equity arm of the Russian investment bank Renaissance Capital has raised one of the largest pools of capital to invest in the region and beyond into Africa.

Renaissance Partners, one of Russia’s largest private equity firms, has closed its latest fund on $660 million (€418 million) making it one of the largest funds to be raised for the region, according to a source familiar with the fundraising.

Baring Vostok set the record at $1 billion last summer.

Renaissance, which has been investing in high-growth companies since 2000, underlined the reach of its ambition when it recruited the former head of financial services at Permira, Europe’s largest buyout firm, as deputy chairman.

Rory Cullinan, who had previously worked at Royal Bank of Scotland as head of equity finance, joined Renaissance Capital, the banking parent company, last August as deputy chairman of Renaissance Partners.

Cullinan’s hire followed that of Rotimi Oyekanmi as head of the firm’s private equity business in Nigeria, as the bank looks to increase its investment in sub-Saharan Africa.

Renaissance Partners focusses on buying and selling large-scale assets in the metals, telecommunications, power and other key industry sectors. In 2006, it led and managed a consortium of investors in the sale of a 40 percent stake in the world’s leading titanium producer, VSMPO-AVISMA, realising a strong return on the original investment made in 2005.

The firm is also invested in a timber-logging joint venture which now manages more than 3 million hectares of forest lands in Eastern Russia and is rapidly becoming a company of global scale.

It has also built a large-scale farming franchise, which has acquired and modernised under long-term leases more than 100,000 hectares of prime farmland in Ukraine’s black soil belt. It is the largest investor in ETI, a Western African banking franchise already operating in 16 countries.

The firm declined to comment. MVision, the fund’s placement agent, also declined to comment.