Krokus reaches first close

Krokus Private Equity, the Polish mid-market firm based in Warsaw, has held a first closing of its fourth fund, Nova Polonia Natexis II Private Equity Fund, on €52m.

Limited Partners in the latest vehicle include French investor Natexis Private Equity, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, InvestKredit and one other, unnamed, investor.

The fund aims to raise €75m with the help of placement agents Acanthus Advisers, which also acted as exclusive financial adviser to the raising, and will use the money to continue the investment strategy the firm has employed since its formation 11 years ago.

Focused solely on Polish mid-market firms, Nova Polonia Natexis II will provide expansion capital and back buyouts small and medium sized companies, investing between €3m and €10m per transaction and taking a majority shareholding. It will target those businesses with strong underlying growth or those which have the potential to act as consolidators within a particular industry. Sectors of particular interest include manufacturing, services (including financial), distribution, transportation and construction materials, together with enterprises that operate in markets that will benefit from investment by the EU structural funds that are expected over the course of the next decade.

The first closing of this latest fund has taken place against a backdrop of significant fundraisings for Central and Eastern European funds. In recent months Enterprise Investors, Innova, ARGUS Capital and Mid Europa have all raised capital, although Nova Polonia Natexis II is the only fund being raised dedicated solely to the Polish mid market.

Witold Radwanski, chief executive of Krokus, said: “At a time when a number of CEE regional managers have successfully raised new funds it is good to see such strong interest in a specialist country fund focused solely on the Polish mid market. We believe that this shows how quickly the CEE private equity market is maturing with clear demand from investors emerging for both regional and country based funds as already happens in Western Europe.”