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Belgian bank KBC hives off private equity unit to LGT-backed vehicle

5 Dec 2012

KBC Private Equity has agreed to sell the “major part” of its remaining private equity portfolio to newly established private equity investment fund backed by European secondaries investor LGT Capital Partners.

The sale by KBC forms part of a strategic refocus plan agreed with the European Commission at the end of 2009.

The KeBeK I vehicle will be managed by KeBeK Management, a newly established management company consisting of four team members of KBC PE.

The firm said it would also look to create a new private equity fund and continue to make control investments mainly in Belgium.

KBC PE has been divesting the main part of its portfolio since July 2010, with the total proceeds exceeding €250m.

Alternative investment specialist LGT Capital Partners led the transaction and the establishment of KeBeK I, a statement said.

Johan Thijs, CEO of KBC Group, said, “I am pleased to announce that we have taken a major step towards finalising the divestment of KBC Private Equity’s investment portfolio, as agreed with the European Commission.

“The agreement with KeBeK I is recognition of KBC Private Equity’s experience and expertise, and will ensure continuity for its staff and business partners.

“I regret having to say goodbye to this devoted team. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their commitment and effort over the years and wish them every success in the future.”

Floris Vansina, CEO KBC Private Equity added, “Whereas this transaction implies the near completion of the divestment plan of KBC PE, it also heralds the launch of a new, independent fund manager that will be active in private equity investments.

“In addition, this transaction offers continuity and stability to the portfolio companies that are being transferred to KeBeK I.”

KBC PE was the private equity investment unit of Brussels-based bank-insurer KBC, which focuses on its home markets in Belgium and Central and Eastern Europe.

Last month AltAssets reported that Switzerland-based LGT Capital Partners is nearing a final close for its third secondaries fund, which two sources said is currently oversubscribed and likely to close on its hard cap.

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