European secondaries specialist ARCIS has held the final close on its fourth fund, ESD Fund IV, on €354 million ($502 million). More than double the size of its predecessor, the fund will focus exclusively on the European secondaries market.
Existing ARCIS Group investors comprised two thirds of the investor base, which was evenly weighted between US and non-US investors, the firm said.
London-based managing partner Mark Birch said in a statement the firm is relishing the current market conditions.
“Private equity is expected to suffer from the effect of the recent credit crunch, and the current environment – which is challenging for valuations and liquidity – represents an attractive opportunity for us,” he said.
The new fund is already 20 percent invested in portfolios in the UK, France, Germany and Benelux. Although details of the fund’s initial investments were not disclosed, managing partner Arnaud Isnard told the Financial Times the transactions include a portfolio of private equity interests held by a large European energy company and five minor positions in German companies.
ARCIS Group was formed in 1993 with offices in Paris and London. The group provides liquidity services to private equity investors.