NiXEN Partners, the Parisian lower mid-market buyout house that spun out from French financial services firm Natixis two years ago, has raised just over half of its target for its first institutional private equity fund.
NiXEN II reached a final closing in December last year of just €164m, short of its initial €300m target and €350m hard cap, according to a statement from the firm.
The vehicle was launched with a €100m first closing in October 2010 upon the firm’s spin out, with the backing of the fund of funds arm of AXA Private Equity and Natixis, who committed €50m each.
At the time NiXEN Partners’ management team acquired full control of the management company, while AXA Private Equity became the sole investor in Natixis Private Equity’s original French midcap portfolio, NiXEN I, valued at €473m at the time.
NiXEN II has already invested in four companies, comprising Ceva, a laboratory specialising in animal health; Vedici, a chain of private clinics for medicine, surgery and obstetrics; La Grande Récré, a specialist retailer of games and toys; and Babeau Seguin, a builder of single-family detached homes.
The news reflects the recent woes of European private equity spin-outs looking to raise their first independent funds.
AAC Capital Partners, the former buyout arm of ABN Amro Holding that spun out from the Dutch bank in 2007, recently abandoned a £300m fundraising plan and went into run-off mode following lukewarm interest from potential investors.
The firm’s Dutch and Nordic teams are likely to continue their own fundraising efforts although future commitments to the UK mid-market are unlikely.
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