Astorg brings 2.1-bln-euro fund into uncertain Europe

  • Astorg closes Fund VI on 2.1 bln euros
  • Held first close in October
  • Fund to target European companies

Astorg Partners closed its sixth fund on 2.1 billion euros ($2.32 billion) amid a wave of uncertainty triggered by Britain’s decision to exit the European Union.

The Paris firm confirmed the fund close in a statement. Commitments came from pension funds, insurers and institutional asset managers, the firm said.

European limited partners made up 62 percent of Fund VI, while North American investors made up 30 percent and Asian investors rounded out the fund, the firm said.

Astorg focuses on buyouts of European-based middle-market companies. Fund VI held a first close in October and by December had closed on about 1.2 billion euros, Buyouts reported.

Park Hill Group worked as placement agent on the fundraising.

Fund VI is charging a 2 percent management fee on aggregate commitments up to 1 billion euros and 1.75 percent thereafter, an investment report from Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System said. The fees on net invested capital are the same, LACERS said.

Fund VI charges a 20 percent carried-interest rate, with an 8 percent hurdle. The GP commitment is 2 percent, LACERS said. All transaction fees, investment-related fees and termination fees will be used to offset the management fee for LPs, according to an investment memo from Portfolio Advisors.

Astorg closed Fund V on 1.05 billion euros in 2011, beating its 800-million-euro target by more than 30 percent. Fund V generated a 16.8 percent net internal rate of return as of Dec. 31, 2015, LACERS said.

Fund IV produced a 12.5 percent net IRR and Fund III, Astorg’s first institutional fund, produced a 29.7 percent net IRR, LACERS documents show.

In Fund VI, Astorg expects to invest at least 70 percent of total commitments in companies in Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland, LACERS said.

In June Astorg agreed to buy Swiss industrial-software group Autoform for almost 700 million euros, Reuters reported.

The firm was formed in 1998 by Xavier Moreno and Thierry Timsit. Joel Lacourte joined in 1998 as a managing partner.

Action Item: The LACERS investment report:

Photo: A man holds a giant pencil as he takes part in a French citizens solidarity march (Marche Republicaine) in the streets of Paris on January 11, 2015. Photo courtesy Reuters/Stephane Mahe