Waterland doubles fund size

Dutch mid-market firm Waterland Private Equity Investments has closed its fourth fund on its hard cap of €800m just three months after launch and twice the size of its previous offering.

Waterland Private Equity Fund IV (WPEF IV) will target medium sized companies with revenues between €10m and €150m operating in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

The Bussum headquartered firm specialises in buy-and-build opportunities, and has a five-point criteria that an potential investment must meet: sufficient size, robust growth potential, fragmented competition, sustainable profitability and realistic sector consolidation potential.

There is a particular focus on companies that operate in the areas of outsourcing & efficiency, ageing population, leisure & luxury and sustainability.

WPEF IV attracted an array of major new investors including 30 prominent institutional investors with approximately 30% of the fund from the Benelux region and Germany, 35% from the rest of Europe and 30% from North America.

Half of the €800m committed capital comes from fund of funds, with 30% coming from public and corporate pension funds, 10% from endowments/family offices, and 10% from financial institutions. The firm also secured new commitments from pensions and foundations in the United States.

Waterland recently sold a buy-and-build investment in Löwen Play, a German amusement arcade operator which was acquired by AXA Private Equity for an undisclosed sum. Waterland bought the business in 2006 and oversaw the acquisition of over 50 new arcades.

WPEF III closed in May 2006, raising €400m.

Rob Thielen, managing principal of Waterland, said: “We are extremely pleased with the result. We set out at the beginning of the fundraising with the clear goal of supporting our existing investors and adding a select number of longterm, international investors. We are delighted to have achieved this goal within a very short period of time with strong

support from our loyal group of existing investors and through a targeted and innovative marketing plan. Waterland’s proactive hands-on approach to value creation, combined with its ability to identify below the radar, attractive industries and sectors, is key to our buy-and-build strategy and has clearly added to the interest from investors, especially given lower risk tolerance across the board. Our team is focused on the next phase of the challenge – making the right investments.”