European distressed investor OpCapita eyes €150m fund


European turnaround private equity investor OpCapita is looking to raise a €150m vehicle for new investments, Dow Jones has reported.

The UK-based firm gained a notoriety following its £2 buyout of collapsed electrical retailer Comet, which saw complaints from MPs over its handling of the business.

British taxpayers are believed to be facing a £49.4m bill for unpaid redundancies and tax after the company sank into administration last year, despite OpCapita holding vehicle Hailey Acquisitions walking away with £50m as a secured creditor. OpCapita bought the beleaguered chain from Anglo-French electrical giant Kesa for a nominal fee in November 2011, with Kesa also providing a £50m investment into the firm’s Hailey 2 fund.

Founded in 2006, OpCapita targets invest in retail, consumer and leisure businesses. Last year the firm risked further criticism after it emerged it was considering buying the chain’s tax losses, seeking to offset them against the vehicle’s own profits in a practice currently being clamped down upon by the UK government.

Most recently OpCapital agreed to buy troubled German discount clothing retailer NKD in November last year.

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