New funds in March: Artá, Black Toro, Nekko, Benavent and Trea Direct Lending

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BY : Diego GutiérrezApril Tue, 2018

We review the main funds launched by private equity firms in March 2018. Specifically, we analyse the new funds from Artá Capital, Black Toro Capital, Nekko Capital, the Benavent family and Trea Direct Lending.

We review the main funds launched by private equity firms in March 2018. Specifically, we analyse the new funds from Artá Capital, Black Toro Capital, Nekko Capital, the Benavent family and Trea Direct Lending.

Artá Capital closes its second fund at €400M

The fund manager launched by the March Group in 2008 through Corporación Financiera Alba, Artá Capitalhas broadened its investor base and investment typologies in Artá Capital Fund II, its second fund, closed at €400M.

Artá Capital Fund II's investors included Spanish family offices and domestic and foreign institutional investors, in addition to the backing of Corporación Financiera Alba. Grupo March contributed just under 501TTP1T of the funds; Spanish family offices contributed 25%; the remainder came from domestic and international institutional investors.

This new fund aims to take controlling positions and to undertake leveraged transactions to increase investment returns, unlike Artá Capital's first fund, which specialised in minority positions.

Artá Capital expects to close two or three deals in Spain and Portugal in 2018. Last year, the asset manager successfully closed three exits: Flex, Resa-EnCampus and Berlys-Panasa, generating €300M in revenues. In addition, in 2017 it made three important investments: Gascan, Alvinesa and Satlink, for which it has dedicated 25% of Artá Capital Fund II's investment potential.


Black Toro launches third €100M fund

The manager Black Toro Capital (BTC) has launched its third fund, BTC III, with a target size of €350M, after completing an intense 2017 in which it closed four investments (Lacrem, Amichi, Torrot and Social Muving) and announced the merger of Bionaturis and ADL, which it expects to close this year.

The Global FOND-ICO approved last November an allocation of €50M for BTC III, the launch of which comes at a time when 85% of the resources of BTC II, which closed in December 2016 with €235M, are already invested.

BTC is looking for companies with sales between €30M and €1,000M or EV between €30M and €750M, and net debt to ebitda ratios of less than 5x post-investment. The fund will invest between €20M and €75M per company, offering flexible capital and liquidity solutions to viable Spanish SMEs with significant financing needs.

Nekko launches €100M pan-European fund

Nekko Capitalmanager of venture capital is heir of Avet Ventures, will launch during the second quarter of 2018 a new pan-European fund aimed at technology startups, with a first target closing of €60M and a total target of €100M.

The fund manager expects that 30% of the resources for this new fund will come from corporate groups, another 30% from public instruments (Nekko Capital will apply to the tenth call of the FOND-ICO Global), and the remaining 40% from family offices, funds of funds and large asset managers.

This new Nekko Capital fund aims to invest in 25 projects with disruptive and digitally-based business models in Spain, UK and France, taking minority stakes in sectors such as mobility, insurance, fintech, real estate and travel. Investments will range from €500,000 to €8M per project, in series A and B rounds, and in many cases through co-investments with other funds.

In the words of Mercè Tell, General Partner of Nekko Capital: "We want to carry out the first closing of our pan-European fund with around €60M in the second quarter of the year. In addition, our intention is to have a very active involvement in Spain. It is an absolutely priority area for us, so a large part of our investment will be made here, as in the other two regions where we are present.


The Benavent family jumps into venture capital

Following the sale of the Castellón-based tile manufacturer Keraben to Victoria Carpets for some €274M, the Benavent family has decided to allocate part of the proceeds to private equity. To this end, it has created the company Thalassa Capitalwhich will operate under the management of Arcano and will have €47M.

Thalassa Capital will invest in alternative assets, mainly in private equity, thanks to its experience in the sector and on a generalist basis in Europe and the US.


Trea Direct Lending launches its second fund

The asset management firm Trea Direct Lending is finalising the launch of its second fund with between €120M and €140M. Its first fund, launched in mid-2016 with €70M, has closed five financing transactions and is in the process of completing two more.

The fund manager expects investors who participated in the first Trea Direct Lending fund to repeat in this second one, which will invest in companies in all sectors, except real estate and financials, with an ebitda of between €3M and €20M.

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