Ardian raises €4.5bn for European mid-caps, buys hygiene specialist

The fund has already invested in French food and agricultural hygiene subsidiary Hypred.

Ardian has closed its latest mid-market buyout fund on its €4.5 billion hard-cap, after just four months on the road, the Paris-based investment firm said on Wednesday.

The firm also confirmed it had bought French food company Rouiller’s food and agricultural hygiene subsidiary Hypred.

The close is a ‘one-and-done’ for Ardian LBO Fund VI, which includes a total of €500 million for co-investment opportunities.

The fund’s predecessor, raised in 2013, was €2.8 billion.

Fund V bought a majority stake in European ingredients provider Solina Group in February. The firm also invested in Mills Fleet Farm, a retailer focused on outdoor and farm, recreational and pet activities in the same month.

In June, the firm closed its latest small-cap fund, Ardian Expansion Fund IV, on €1 billion, just two years after closing its predecessor fund, which was half the size. Adding together both funds, Ardian now has €5.5 billion to be deployed in the mid and small-cap space.

Philippe Poletti, member of the executive committee and head of the Ardian Mid Cap Buyout team, credited the swift fundraising to the firm’s track record in helping portfolio companies expand internationally. “This fundraising success demonstrates the value our investors have seen in our approach of using transformational strategies to help ambitious companies accelerate their international growth,” he said.

Fund VI will be invested in established European companies with an enterprise value of between €175m to €1.5bn. Around 85 percent of the fund will be invested in two main areas: the firm’s core markets of France, Italy and Germany, as well as in Benelux, Austria and Switzerland. The mid-cap team will also consider investment opportunities in the UK and Spain.

The fund drew a diversified base of investors, with a “significant proportion” of existing investors choosing to re-up, Ardian said. More than-two thirds of LBO Fund V investors reinvested in the latest fund, committing 112 percent of the amount raised in the previous generation.