Saints, Garnier partner on French secondaries

The partnership will make direct secondary investments in French private equity, with a focus on venture capital, leveraged buyouts and growth capital.

Saints Capital has partnered with the private equity arm of Bryan, Garnier & Co to target investments in the French secondary market. The partnership will focus on transactions between €50 million and €500 million, according to a statement from the firms.

The partnership will target around two deals per year over the next five years, Garnier managing director Marc Goldberg told Private Equity International. The partnership, which launched earlier this week, will be led by Goldberg and Niko von Huetz of Saints Capital and will target direct secondaries in the venture capital, growth capital and leveraged buyout asset classes.

Goldberg cited a number of factors leading to the development of the partnership, including the general consolidation of France’s private equity industry. Banks and insurance companies are lowering their allocations to private equity, he said. At the same time, many French general partners are trying to unload their investments to get liquidity in preparation for raising a new fund.

“Our partnership is an ideal resource for GPs of institutional growth and mid-market buyout funds, whether they be independent or held within banks or insurance companies, as well as corporate or family office managers of captive venture and growth private equity assets,” Saints founder and managing partner Ken Sawyer said in the release.

The partnership will combine Saints’ pool of capital, network of co-investors and experience in structuring secondary transactions with Garnier’s familiarity with several market sectors and asset management, according to the statement.

Garnier’s private equity arm began focusing on the French secondary market after acquiring Occam Capital in 2009 and the Cap Angel and Cap Innova Expansion funds in 2011. The investment bank estimates that French asset managers control around €40 billion in deployed private equity capital.

Saints, which was founded in 2000, focuses on secondary acquisitions of private equity investments in growth companies. The San Francisco-based firm controls more than $1.2 billion in assets under management.