12 oktober 2006

GEM Benelux raises first institutional fund of €150 million, after just six months in the market

Until now, the predecessor entity of GEM Benelux, Gilde Participaties, invested an evergreen fund on behalf of the Dutch bank Rabobank and completed 30 transactions between 1996 and 2006.

It generated an outstanding track record, producing returns of 3.7 times invested capital to date on realised and partially realised buyout transactions.

Thirteen institutional investors committed to the Fund, representing the UK and Continental Europe (42%), The Netherlands (33%) and the US and Australia (25%); they include pension funds, funds-of-funds, international financial institutions and family offices. The investor base includes, among others, Allianz Private Equity Partners, a client advised by Altius Associates, the European Investment Fund, FLAG Capital Management, Fleming Family and Partners, Rho and Proventure. Rabobank, GEM Benelux's long-standing investor, continued its support by committing 20% of the fund's capital.

The fund was launched in April 2006, and had a substantial first closing in early August and a final closing at the end of September.

Gerhard Nordemann, Co-Managing Partner of GEM Benelux, commented,

“We are very pleased with the quality of investors in our first institutional fund. Given that we were not previously known to the mainstream private equity investor base, the process of establishing the fund has been significantly quicker than expected, as we launched the fund in April and closed it in September. We are delighted that we now have a solid foundation to our business for the long-term, and look forward to maintaining our concentration on a market we know very well.”

GEM Benelux will continue to focus on making investments in transactions of an enterprise value ranging from €15 to €75 million, principally in The Netherlands. GEM Benelux has a six member investment team, and will shortly be augmenting it. It shares administrative and financial functions with other firms historically affiliated with Gilde, and will continue to make independent investment decisions, as it has in the past.

The fund was placed by Helix Associates of London and New York. John Barber of Helix commented:

“This has been a most successful fundraising exercise, a tribute to the quality of the team, its excellent track record, and its strong position in its marketplace. GEM Benelux has rightly attracted the support of discriminating investors who know the European middle market well. We pursued a very targeted marketing strategy, and the ratio of investors committing to the fund versus those contacted was high, especially for a firm previously not known to most investors.”

The fund's legal adviser was Loyens & Loeff of Amsterdam.

Contact numbers:

Gerhard Nordemann, GEM Benelux - +31 30 219 2555
John Barber, Helix - +44 20 7968 6963

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