Alpha buys into European mezzanine funds

Alpha Associates has bought stakes in two of Mezzanine Management’s Central Europe-focused funds.

Alpha Associates has bought limited partner interests in two European mezzanine funds, according to UK regulatory filings.

Alpha Secondary III has invested in Accession Mezzanine Capital I and Accession Mezzanine Capital II. Both funds are managed by Mezzanine Management Central Europe and invested in mezzanine and equity financing instruments in mid-cap companies in Central Europe and the Balkan Region. Mezzanine Management didn’t return a request for comment by press time.

Accession I closed on €115 million in 2003 and is partially liquidated, according to PEI’s Research and Analytics division. Limited partners in the fund include the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and German insurance company Generali Deutschland.

The fund invested in 12 companies in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovenia, according to the firm’s website. Portfolio companies include Bulgarian waste collection company Novera, bottled water company Devin and Polish city bus manufacturer Solaris Bus & Coach. As of January, the fund had completed nine partial or full exits.

Accession II raised €261 million, beating its €200 million target in 2007 and received commitments from Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and Parisian bank Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, according to PEI data.

The fund invested in 17 companies and was fully invested by December 2010, according to the firm’s website. As of January, the fund has completed 11 partial or full exits, including Bulgarian industrial farm operator Ceres and Retail Value Stores which comprises the former Carrefour retail operations in Slovakia.

Vienna-based Mezzanine Management has since raised its third fund, which closed on €150 million, missing its €350 million target in June 2010, according to PEI data. Unlike Accession I and II, the most recent fund limits its mezzanine and equity investments to companies based in countries that have joined the European Union since 2004 or are current or future EU candidates. The fund has already made seven investments and had sealed two exits as of January.

Alpha purchased the two fund stakes from a division of Vienna-based Volksbank, which was unavailable to comment by press time.

Alpha Secondary Fund III launched last year with a €300 million target. The fund makes primary commitments to new private equity funds and purchases LP interests on the secondary market, with a focus on Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and Turkey, according to documents from the European Bank of Recovery and Development, which will commit €50 million or 35 percent of total aggregate commitments to the fund at final close, according to its website.

Fund III has also purchased a stake in Krokus Private Equity’s Nova Polonia Natexis II from Volksbank, Secondaries Investor reported Monday. Alpha declined to comment on the transactions.