Atlantic Bridge Holds First Close Of Fund II With €85M In Commitments

Atlantic Bridge of held the first close of Atlantic Bridge II with €85 million in commitments. Dublin, Ireland-based private equity shop expects to make typical investments between €5 million and €20 million in European middle-market technology companies.

PRESS RELEASE
Atlantic Bridge, a technology-focused private equity firm, today announced the first close of Atlantic Bridge II with €85 million of funding commitments. Following the success of the 2005 first fund, Atlantic Bridge II is unique among recent new funds in Europe, combining a Middle Market Technology focus with an operationally experienced investment team. The new fund will target the huge opportunity in the European Middle Market Technology assets, a sector that has strong growth potential but is currently underserved by private equity and banking sectors.

The new fund will invest primarily in expansion capital, late-stage venture capital, and small to mid-sized buyouts; targeting assets in the communications technology, semiconductors and software sectors, where Atlantic Bridge has deep, domain-specific expertise. Atlantic Bridge currently manages or co-manages in excess of €250 million in assets.

The fund expects to make typical investments of between €5 million and €20 million in European Middle Market Technology companies and expects to continue to co-invest with its investors. It will also selectively consider companies in the US that have a sizeable European presence or substantial plans to expand into Europe.

The new fund is backed by leading institutional investors including the European Investment Fund (EIF), the National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF), Enterprise Ireland (EI) as well as a number of new and existing institutional investors.

The new fund, which has reached a first close of €75 million, will be managed by the existing Atlantic Bridge investment team. In total the team of 10 investment professionals bring together over 100 years of relevant and complementary experience, with a strong background in international business-building and operational value-add.

“We are very pleased to be among the few European technology funds that have achieved a first close in the last 18 months in a very challenging financing environment,” said General Partner Brian Long. “We see a lot of attractive investment opportunities from multiple sources in Europe, many of which fit with our investment thesis and are available at historically-attractive valuation levels and we are able to demonstrate how we can add real value to these companies.”

Commenting for the EIF, Richard Pelly, Chief Executive, said: ‘We believe this is a crucial time to support the European technology sector as it is one of the drivers of economic growth and job creation. We are convinced that the Atlantic Bridge team is well positioned to deliver successful investments in this sector.’

“During our first fund we have directly managed or co-managed close to €250 million of assets,” said General Partner Paul Harvey. “We feel that we have really battle-tested our investment thesis, proved that we are a scalable team with proven operational added value and we are now ready for an even stronger, clear opportunity in Atlantic Bridge II. The quality of our investment pipeline has never been better and we are able to demonstrate how we can add real value to these companies”

Ends

Note to Editors

About Atlantic Bridge

Atlantic Bridge is a private equity firm investing in Middle Market Technology assets across Europe, with offices in Dublin and London. The firm focuses on making domain-specific investments in expansion capital, late-stage venture capital, and small buy-out transactions. The Atlantic Bridge portfolio currently consists of companies in the communications technology, semiconductor and software sectors. Atlantic Bridge brings together a unique team of technology entrepreneurs, experienced managers, finance professionals and investment experts, with over 100 years of international business experience. The team has worked together in various capacities for the last 10-20 years, bringing a true partnership approach to the firm and its investments. For more information, please visit www.abven.com.

About the European Investment Fund (EIF)

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is the European body specialised in small and medium sized enterprise (SME) risk financing. The EIF supports high-growth, innovative SMEs by means of equity (venture capital and private equity) and guarantee instruments through a variety of financial institutions (venture and growth capital funds, banks, guarantee institutions). The EIF has a crucial role to play throughout the value chain of enterprise creation, from the early stage of intellectual property development and licensing to mid and later stage SMEs. The EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and regional development, entrepreneurship, growth and job creation. At 31st December, 2009, EIF equity commitments amounted to €4.1 billion, while its outstanding guarantee portfolio totaled €13.6 billion.
For any questions, please contact Elaine Coughlan on elaine@abven.com and +353 1 603 4456, or Paul Harvey on paul@abven.com and +44 20 7661 8134. Paul Harvey and Kevin Dillon will be attending the SuperInvestor 2010 Conference in Paris this week.