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GSC Partners closes €1bn European mezz fund

The US and UK alternative asset management firm has raised over €1bn for its second mezzanine fund focusing on transactions in Europe.

New Jersey-based GSC Partners has completed a €1 billion ($1.2 billion) fundraising for its second European mezzanine fund, GSC European Mezzanine Fund II.
 
The firm said a number of investors from the firm’s debut mezzanine vehicle, which closed on €1.065 billion in June 2002, committed to the new fund. In addition, over 20 new investors joined Fund II’s LP base, which comprised insurance companies, endowments, foundations and corporate pension funds.
 
Fund I closed with €765 million of equity capital in October 2001, with an additional €300 million credit facility added in early 2002. Carl Crosetto, managing director at GSC Partners, said in an interview that the new fund had a similar split between equity and credit, but declined to disclose details.
 
GSC European Mezzanine Fund II will follow the same strategy as its predecessor, providing capital in the form of subordinated debt to sponsors in European buyouts.
 
The fund will capitalise on the recent significant increase in European M&A activity, as well as recapitalisations and growth financings. Crosetto added that the fund will be opportunistic, investing in buyouts in most sectors, with a specific focus on Benelux, Scandinavia and Northern Europe.
 
“The mezzanine business in Europe has traditionally earned attractive, risk-adjusted returns, significantly higher than those for a commensurate amount of risk elsewhere in the world,” said Richard Hayden, vice chairman of GSC Partners and chairman of GSC Europe, in a statement.
 
Hayden heads up GSC Partners’ London office alongside senior managing director Christine Vanden Beukel.
 
The firm currently manages over $9 billion of assets and has 140 staff operating out of offices in New Jersey, New York, Los Angeles and London.