Spain was one of the biggest losers in all of Europe during the darkest days of the global financial crisis. While the country remained littered with incomplete construction projects and controversy surrounding financial practices, the economic recovery there is well underway.
According to Private Equity News, a number of private equity (PE) firms around the world have started raising funds for investment in the country, with Spanish turnaround giant Sherpa Capital Géstion thought to want to raise in excess of €100million for investments both at home and in neighbouring Portugal. The firm would not comment on this or their other targets for 2014 when asked.
Sherpa Capital’s website states that the firm targets mid-market investments and companies facing bankruptcy or with the need for debt restructuring. Recent companies that the firm have acquired and turned around include home interiors retailer KA International, packaging firm Polibol, and Coveright, the chemicals business.
Private Equity News understands that the fundraising process is actually well underway and speculates that it could be close to completion.
There are currently no obvious candidate businesses for Sherpa Capital to target, but it is certain they will focus on companies that fit their portfolio and it is likely they have already had provisional talks with some, subject to the money being raised.
The big PE firms that have started looking to Spain in a favourable light include Portobello Capital and Qualitas Equity Partners. United States headquartered firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) opened their first Madrid office in early February.
KKR have also been one of the companies to remain strong in their activities in Brazil, so are well set to capitalise on the opportunities in developing and re-emerging markets in 2014 and beyond.
In Spain, focus will shift away from the recovery itself in the coming months and towards the industries that are likely to attract most investment.