17Capital closes debut fund on €88m

The London-based secondaries investor is targeting European transactions between €5m and €50m.

17Captial has held a final close on €88 million for its maiden fund, after being in market for roughly 18 months. The fund’s original target was €200 million.

The London-based secondaries investor is targeting transactions in Europe with a typical size between €5 million and €50 million. The fund has an investment period of roughly two years, and has already received commitments from European and North American institutional investors such as Allianz Group and BNP Paribas Private Equity.

Rather than purchase limited partner positions, 17Capital provides LPs with financing to help generate returns on their investments. Co-founder Pierre-Antoine de Selancy told PEO the firm’s strategy is aimed at filling a perceived gap in the secondary market.

“The secondary market has grown immensely over the last 20 years,” he said. “There was equity, there was a bit of debt, but there was absolutely nobody in the middle. It’s a huge gap in the market which we’re trying to fill and we believe in the medium to long-term it’s a good position it be in.”

17Capital sealed its debut deal in July 2009, leading a mezzanine investment of €30 million in a portfolio of four investments owned by Altamir Amboise.

Altamir Amboise, which is listed on the Euronext exchange, was created to make co-investments alongside Apax Partners France and has a portfolio of 20 co-investments.

In the unusual deal with the 17Capital consortium, Altamir transferred four of its most resilient and liquid co-investments to a separate dedicated vehicle, in which 17Capital acquired €30 million of preference shares.

17Capital was set up in 2008 by de Selancey and Augustin Duhamel, two French veterans of the buyout industry.

De Selancy was formerly a partner at AGF Private Equity, a subsidiary of European insurance group AGF, where he was responsible for all secondary investments as well as leading direct primary and co-investment deals. He has also worked at fund of funds firm Fondinvest, secondaries giant Coller Capital and buyout firm Paribas Affaires Industrielles – now known as PAI Partners.

Duhamel, who worked alongside de Selancy at PAI, was most recently a director at Deloitte Finance in Paris, where he advised clients on distressed investments and turnarounds.