Perfectis closes new fund above target

The French firm has completed the fundraising for its mid-market Perfectis I fund.

Perfectis Private Equity, the French-based private equity firm, has announced that it has successfully completed the final closing of its Perfectis I fund. The fund will invest in middle market management-led buyouts, buy-ins and growth capital deals.

Perfectis was established by former 3i France employees, Jean-Marie Lavirotte and Gabriel Fossorier who aim to pursue a similar investment strategy at Perfectis. The fund, which held a first close at E55m in October 2000, has raised E80m at final closing, E5m higher than the original target of E75m. EULER-SFAC, the leading French firm in the credit risk insurance industry, is sponsor and lead investor in the fund.

The fund has attracted a broad range of institutional investors, including funds of funds, from France, Switzerland, Germany, UK and USA. 48 per cent of the investor group are non-French. The list of disclosed investors includes Groupe Crédit Agricole, Partner Re, Caisse Nationale de Prevoyance and Duke Street Capital. Acanthus Advisers acted as placement agent for the fund in its later stages, with SJ Berwin providing legal advice.

According to Jean-Marie Lavirotte, co-founder of Perfectis, the outlook is very favourable in the French middle market buyout segment, where there is significant deal flow and competition is less intense than in the large buyout space.

“We intend to target buyouts or build-ups in consolidating sectors or in situations of family successions. We are aiming to invest in companies with valuations of between E15-E100m and turnover of around E15-150m. We plan to invest around E2.5-12m per deal in around 12-15 companies. For the most part we are looking at deals in France.”

Commenting on the completion of fund raising, Lavirotte added: “We are very happy to have attracted such a diverse range of investors despite what was certainly a challenging fund raising environment, particularly in the latter stages of 2001.”

At final closing the team has already made four investments from Perfectis I, worth approximately E17m. These are All Fresh Logistique, Cameca, MS Relais and Aluthea.