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Blackstone, AnaCap partner on European banking

The Blackstone Group and AnaCap Financial Partners are planning to invest in Europe’s banking and financial services sector. Deals will include capital from Blackstone Capital Partners VI.

The Blackstone Group and AnaCap Financial Partners are partnering to invest in European banking and financial services businesses, sources familiar with the firms told Private Equity International. The joint venture will target businesses with enterprise values of no less than €300 million.

The partnership, first reported in The Financial Times earlier this month, will include capital from Blackstone Capital Partners VI, the firm’s $16.2 billion fund, one source said. The firms will assess deals on a ‘case-by-case’ basis that would allow either firm to “choose to or not to invest”, they added.

Although the firms have not partnered on a deal, they have scouted transactions together in the past, a source said. 

In June, Blackstone president Tony James said that the firm saw significant opportunities in Europe, particularly as other firms have abandoned the market because of uncertainty. He humourously attributed Blackstone’s recent moves in Europe to “foolhardiness”, adding: “we like to think of it as courage”. 

Although it is unclear how AnaCap will provide capital for the partnership, the firm has developed a reputation as a specialist in the financial services sector, closing its second debt fund on £350 million in May after six months on the market. The firm’s quick route to close is a testament to the market’s appetite for debt strategies, according to the firm. 

AnaCap was launched in 2005 by Joe Giannamore, who leads the firm alongside co-managing partner Peter Cartwright. The firm advises €1.7 billion across its private equity and credit strategies.