Robeco Private Equity European Mid Market IV
Private Equity

Robeco Private Equity European Mid Market IV

Robeco Private Equity’s strategy in the lower and mid market in Europe offers investors access to an underserved segment with outsized return potential.

  • Focus on underserved market: EUR 100-350 million fund sizes. Oftentimes country-specific funds (market map indicates 80-100 such funds per annum).
  • Sweet spot Enterprise Values in range of EUR 50-150 million.
  • Combination of emerging (1st/2nd time funds) and established managers
  • Due diligence focused on the “alpha” component (managers should have a unique angle): operational value creation rather than dependency on leverage and market timing.

Robeco Private Equity is currently in the process of raising capital for its European mid-market strategy. The fund will invest in 8-12 European mid-market funds during a timeframe of 3 years after the final closing date, given exposure to an expected 100 companies. The mid-market, and more specifically the lower mid-market which comprises companies with an enterprise value below EUR 100 million, has been identified by Robeco Private Equity as a very attractive segment to invest in for the following reasons: (i) there is less competition in this part of the market, which is very much relationship-driven rather than process-driven, translating into historically lower pricing levels; (ii) value creation is driven by growth and increased profitability as opposed to leverage and market timing; and (iii) there are multiple exit routes for these companies, most notably to trade buyers, resulting in reduced holding periods and increased pricing levels at exit. All of this is reflected in the historical performance figures, which show that the possibility for outsized performance is higher in this segment when compared to other segments.

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However, this is also a relatively opaque and fragmented part of the market. In order to be successful in this segment, you need to have strong knowledge of the local private equity markets. Through its dedicated geographical coverage and disciplined investment process, built up and refined during the past 15 years, Robeco Private Equity has proven to be well-positioned to identify the most attractive opportunities in the European mid-market. The fund had a first closing earlier in 2015 and is still open for new investors. As of February 2017, the fund has completed its first four investments with a fifth investment in progress.

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