Novalpina, ex-TPG Europe chief’s firm, closes debut fund on €1 bln

  • Fund launched in 2017
  • Got big backing from Oregon
  • Novalpina’s fund close one of the largest for first-timer

Novalpina Capital, a firm launched by former TPG Europe chief Stephen Peel, closed its debut fund on its €1 billion ($1.1 billion) target, a person with knowledge of the fundraising told Buyouts.

The firm in 2017 launched Fund I, which will target middle- and upper-middle-market companies based in Western Europe, typically with enterprise values of 200 million to 500 million euros.

This year Novalpina backed the management buyback of a majority stake in NSO Group, an Israeli maker of spyware that has come under fire for its work for authoritarian governments.

NSO founders bought back a majority stake in the company from Francisco Partners at a valuation of just under $1 billion, the New York Times reported.

The firm focuses on “complex” situations in Europe that could include distressed situations but will be broader than just a distressed strategy. Novalpina generally makes control investments.

Novalpina worked with Park Hill Group and Brooklands Capital Strategies, a division of TPG Capital BD, on the fundraising, Buyouts reported.

The Novalpina team had planned to commit €75 million to the fund, Oregon Investment Council documents show. Oregon committed $200 million to the fund, making it one of the fledgling firm’s largest backers.

Other founding partners of Novalpina include Stefan Kowski and Bastian Lueken.

Peel was co-head of Europe and Asia at TPG from 1997 to 2014. He was a partner at the firm and founded the European office in 1997.

In 2006, he launched TPG’s business in Russia and Turkey and assumed oversight of the firm’s Asian business. He moved to Hong Kong in 2008 to lead TPG’s activities in Asia.

Kowski joined the firm from Centerbridge Partners, where he worked on European investments from 2014 to January 2017. Kowski previously worked on European investments at TPG from 2006 to 2014.

Lueken worked at Platinum Equity from 2011 until June 2017, where he was a principal. Prior to Platinum, Lueken worked at TPG from 1999 to 2009, where he was on the European investment team.

Novalpina’s fund close makes it one of the largest for a first-time fund. Earlier this month, Arcline Investment Management closed its debut fund on $1.5 billion. Arcline was formed by ex-Golden Gate executive Rajeev Amara last year.

Action Item: Check out Novalpina’s Form ADV here: