Spanish investment bank targets €300m debut fund

GBS Finanzas, a Madrid-based investment bank that has sourced a number of deals for Spanish private equity firms, is planning a fund of its own.

GBS Finanzas is in the process of recruiting a team to manage its first private equity fund, according to corporate finance partner Kevin Woods. He said the fund is aiming to collect between €250 million ($314 million) and €300 million and expected to have the capital “earmarked” by the end of this year.

The firm is assuming it will be able to start investing from the fund around mid-2007, once regulatory approval has been obtained.  

Woods added that the fund would aim to attract commitments primarily from wealthy families in Spain and internationally, though one or two institutions might also be accommodated. He said the minimum ticket for each investor would be €20 million.

Woods said the fund would be generalist in nature, primarily targeting buyout deals in the Spanish upper mid-market worth €100 million or more. He said there were “lots of local funds looking at smaller deals” in the country.

GBS has frequently acted as an adviser to private equity firms on Spanish deals, including on Mercapital’s €216 million acquisition of private hospital network United Surgical Partners in 2004. Mercapital is currently raising its latest buyout fund, expected to close imminently on around €500 million.

GBS will not be the first corporate finance adviser in Spain to raise a private equity fund. Nmas1, also based in Madrid, has a stable of funds including Dinamia, which is quoted on the Madrid Stock Exchange.