GREECE - Continental European pension funds have so far committed some e15m to a new Greek government backed private equity fund of funds designed to revive interest in the flagging market.
The pension fund of a large Portuguese bank is also believed to have been one of the funds comprising 10-15% of the the original placement, with fund managers and banks making up the majority of investors.
“The allocation from pension funds was e15m but the actual demand was a lot higher,” said Gianandrea Cherubini of NBG International, one of the banks which arranged the issue. The others were Deutsche Bank and EFG Telesis Finance.
The new Dublin-domiciled vehicle called Taneo completed its e150m fundraising consisting of e45m of preference shares held by the Greek government and e105m of listed loan notes.
The Greek private equity industry is widely regarded as in need of a boost.
One industry expert described the vehicle as a major injection for the market, pointing to traditional buyout activity in the past that failed to attract interest.
Westport Private Equity, owned by Man Investments, will advise the programme, which will invest in venture capital funds. In the past Westport has also advised the UK High Technology Fund for the UK government, a £126m fund-of-funds to invest in early-stage technology funds.
Cherubini added that pension funds would benefit from the long-term horizon, a guaranteed yield and any upside surprises.
“Now the [private equity] market is growing. The idea is that this [fund] will create a precedent for the future. This [Greece] is a potentially high performing market.”
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