Enterprise Investors Fund prepares over 20 million euros investment in small companies

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Polish investment fund Enterprise Investors (EI) is ready to invest at least 20-25 million euros in Romania, through its first venture capital fund, Enterprise Venture Fund I (EVF I), Rafal Bator, partner Enterprise Investors, told the Ziarul Financiar daily.
 
„We are ready to accept minority stakes. We are seeking, in general, small and medium-sized companies, with revenues higher than five million euros. We will look at IT, first, it is here that the highest growth rates are, but the sector does not matter”, said Bator, adding that the fund wants to get from these firms a profit three times higher than the sum invested initially, on a period of 3 or 4 years.
The strategy is to take over minority stakes, of around 20-25%, unlike the other vehicles of the company, aiming at majority stakes in mature firms, with dominant positions in the market.
 
Enterprise Investors was investing first in majority share packages, and for many companies in the portfolio the exit was made through an initial public offer.
Cristian Nacu, partner Enterprise Investors, head of the office in Romania of the Polish fund, said the decision to invest in small-sized companies was made following requests from local businesspeople and entrepreneurs.
 
„We have received very many requests for lower investments that those EI is making in the other funds. In the past five months we have analysed 190 projects, with ten of the companies involved in them we have kept in touch. There are people both from Romania and from other countries in the area. I believe, this year, we will made two transactions,” Rafal Bator said.
He added that EVF I, worth a total of 100 million euros, addresses the entire region of Central and Eastern Europe, but the main countries investment will be made in are Poland and Romania.
 
„We estimate that around 60-70% of the sums collected will go to these two states. We will be very selective. We are seeking transactions of one up to five million euros, but we can also reach ten million euros”, Bator also said.
The official of Enterprise Investors added that there are no constraints connected to a certain sum, which can be allocated for projects in Romania.
„If we find investment for all the 100 million euros, then we will invest. But realistically speaking, Romania represents 20% of the region, so the plan is to invest here a minimum of 20-25 million euros”, Bator also said.
 
Sought are companies where entrepreneurs and management already having a solid view on development and are seeking capital for that. An important criterion is the manner in which the managers of the fund can cooperate with the already existing entrepreneurs.
According to the Business Standard daily, among the ten companies under advanced analysis, there would be local ones, but Rafal Bator did not say if there is any Romanian company among those the fund will invest in.
 
According to data from Enterprise Investors, EVF I is the biggest fund of its kind in the region. Among investors in the new fund, there are a foundation of George Kaiser family, the third biggest fund donors at world level, as well as financial institutions.
In the first five months this year, EI analysed over 100 projects in areas such as medical services, the Internet, IT, production, services and telecommunications.
Enterprise Investors Fund has invested so far in Romania some 100 million euros in companies like Orange, Siveco, Artima, Macon and Simcor.
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