Category Press Releases & News

4i Capital Partners Recognized as Rising Star at Annual Private Equity Exchange & Awards

4i Capital Partners Recognized as Rising Star at Annual Private Equity Exchange & Awards

Kyiv, December 13, 2016 – 4i Capital Partners, the private equity investment firm managing investments in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, received the Rising Star Award in the category Best Russia & Central and Eastern European Private Equity Fund at Private Equity Exchange & Awards in Paris.

As one of the major Pan-European events on private equity and restructuring, the Private Equity Exchange & Awards is organized by Leaders League Group, a Paris-based media and rating agency for top executives at the international level.

At this year’s 15th edition held on December 8, 2016 the event gathered over 400 high-profile delegates to reward the best performers among European private equity funds, limited partners and management teams. Award winners are selected through a rigorous process by 80 experts including limited partners from across the world.

The Rising Star Award was established to recognize the value created by the firm in its investments and the overall performance of 4i Capital Partners among the best European private equity performers.

“We are very pleased to receive the Rising Star Award. These are challenging times, but our team is strong and determined. Jointly with our management teams we delivered solid increase in shareholder value and we are looking forward to even stronger performance in 2017”, commented Alex Munteanu, Managing Partner and Co-founder of 4i Capital Partners.

About 4i Capital Partners

4i Capital Partners is a private equity investment firm managing investments in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova. The company’s principals have been making buyouts, expansions, restructurings and realizations in the region for nearly two decades. 4i Capital Partners was founded in March 2016 with the aim to capitalize on the opportunities resulting from the fundamental overhaul of Ukraine, one of the largest European countries. The investment team currently manages Europe Virgin Fund, with $ 57 million of committed capital and instrumental support from the international finance institutions such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank or the Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets.

 

4i Capital Set Up as a Spin-off from Dragon Capital

Kyiv, March 17, 2016 – The management team of Europe Virgin Fund and Dragon Capital have agreed on a spin-off. Europe Virgin Fund was launched in August 2010 as a private equity fund investing primarily in Ukraine.

The team led by Alex Munteanu and Kamil Goca will operate independently under a new name – 4i Capital Partners and continue managing the portfolio of Europe Virgin Fund.

Dragon Capital will build on the successful 15-year track record of its Principle Investments team led by Tomas Fiala and pursue new private equity opportunities through Dragon Capital’s New Ukraine Fund launched in October 2015. Dragon Capital will also remain a limited partner in the Europe Virgin Fund and a shareholder in the fund’s general partner.

About Europe Virgin Fund

Europe Virgin Fund is a regional private equity fund investing in Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus, with $57 million of committed capital. The Fund’s limited partners include Dragon Capital, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets and the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank. The portfolio of Europe Virgin Fund includes controlling stakes in Ukraine’s leading manufacturer of tissue products Ruta, top out-of-home advertising operator Prime Group, niche pharmaceutical manufacturer Sperco Ukraine, leading e-payment service provider Portmone and Ukraine’s largest private security services company Venbest.

About 4i Capital Partners

4i Capital Partners is a private equity investment firm managing investments in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova. The company’s principals have been making buyouts, expansions, restructurings and realizations in the region for nearly two decades. 4i Capital Partners was founded in March 2016 with the aim to capitalize on the opportunities resulting from the fundamental overhaul of Ukraine, one of the largest European countries. The investment team currently manages Europe Virgin Fund, with instrumental support from the international finance institutions such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank or the Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets.

Former Google Executive Joins Ukraine’s Leading PSP Portmone.com

Portmone.com announced today  that Svyatoslav Komakha was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the company effective October 12, 2015. Svyatoslav joins from Google Inc. where he served as Marketing Director responsible for Ukraine, CIS and CEE countries for 4 years. Prior to that he directed the marketing department for Kraft Foods, covering 11 CIS countries.

“We’ve brought on board a very strong leader and a visionary at a time when Portmone.com is expanding fast in Ukraine’s improving economic and investment environment. Adding Svyat’s extensive marketing and management expertise to a proven business model will enable Portmone.com to multiply its revenue and expand regionally,” said Alex Munteanu, Chairman of the Board at Portmone.com and Managing Director of Europe Virgin Fund.

“We’ve managed to grow Portmone.com from a small family-type business into a dynamically growing company, tripling its revenues this year and securing a leading role in the rapidly developing Ukrainian e-payments market. Portmone.com is entering a new phase and I am confident that Svyat is the right leader to amplify our success,” said Igor Gorin, the President of Portmone.com

”This is an exciting time to join Portmone.com, and I am looking forward to joining forces with the Team to keep on the company’s dynamic growth and innovation pace. We will aim to make everyday lives of our users and clients more comfortable, powered by the opportunities technology and Internet bring us. As a loyal Portmone.com user, I truly believe in this mission,” said Svyatoslav Komakha, the CEO of Portmone.com.


About Portmone.com

Portmone.com is the largest independent service of online payments and money transfers in Ukraine. Pioneering the market since 2002, it currently serves around 2 million users and over 1,400 organizations, covering a wide range of regular payments (mobile top ups, housing and utilities, TV and Internet, insurance, taxes, bank loans, etc.) and card-to-card money transfers. The company offers a portfolio of proven IT payment solutions for banking, mobile, e-commerce and service industries. In 2013, Europe Virgin Fund became a majority stakeholder of Portmone.com.

Europe Virgin Fund Invests in Security Services Company Venbest

Europe Virgin Fund L.P. (‘EVF’), a regional private equity fund, has completed its investment in VENBEST Group, a leading private security services market operator in Ukraine. The founding shareholders retain substantial stakes in the business and will continue to manage VENBEST with support from EVF. The parties did not disclose the transaction value.

Founded in 1991, today VENBEST Group is the largest private operator in the market of security services in Ukraine, serving more than 25,000 customers. EVF strongly believes that VENBEST is positioned for further growth due to the considerable growth potential of the respective market in Ukraine and the anticipated sector consolidation trend.

«VENBEST is a good addition to our investment portfolio, which now consists of successful companies from Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), mass-media, pharmaceuticals and financial services sectors. Despite a difficult macroeconomic situation, which has almost completely halted private investment in the Ukrainian economy, we decided to invest in this business and this team. We strongly believe that economic growth will restore in Ukraine in the next few years, and therefore the domestic consumer market of over 40 million inhabitants, and, in particular, the market for services, will be the main driver of this Company’s growth. We are pleased to turn over a new leaf in the investment history of Ukraine, following the Revolution of Dignity. We will continue to look for further opportunities to support first-class companies and teams and participate in rebuilding a new Ukraine», — comments Alex Munteanu, Managing Director of Europe Virgin Fund.

«Throughout its history, VENBEST has gained a reputation as one of the most responsible and reliable partners in the Ukrainian security services market. Hard work, constant attention to customers’ needs and the desire to improve were the core elements of this achievement. Our services are used by both large corporate clients and private customers in all regions of Ukraine. We intend to keep providing each of these categories of clients with the best quality of service, reliability, and comfort of working with VENBEST in the future. We believe in the huge potential of the security services market, and it is very important for us that EVF shares our philosophy and intends to help us in achieving very ambitious targets», — said Georgiy Tupchiy, VENBEST co-founder.

«We have found a reliable partner in EVF, which will help us create a new driver for the company`s progress, focusing on business development, new service offerings, as well as VENBEST’s regional expansion», — added Vladymyr Dzyuba, VENBEST co-founder.


About VENBEST Group

VENBEST Group is a leading Ukrainian private company providing security services for over 24 years. The company provides services throughout the territory of Ukraine and offers customers comprehensive security solutions while taking into account their individual needs. The company`s most popular services include physical security of property and individuals, provision of technical security systems and facilities, as well as patrolling. VENBEST also has its own research and production center, which provides the Company with advanced technology in the field of technical security. Large companies such as METRO Cash & Carry, Kyivenergo, Privatbank, Oschadbank, Credit Agricole Bank, National Bank of Ukraine and many others are among VENBEST’s clients. The total number of objects guarded by VENBEST exceeds 25 thousand. VENBEST was founded in 1991.

Europe Virgin Fund Invests in E-payments Service Provider Portmone

Europe Virgin Fund L.P. (‘EVF’), a regional private equity fund, has completed its investment in Portmone.com, a leading online payments system in Ukraine. In line with the fund’s strategy, EVF has acquired a controlling stake in the business. The founding shareholders retain a minority stake and will continue to manage Portmone.com with support from EVF. The parties do not disclose transaction value.

Since 2002, Portmone.com has been an important and successful player in Ukraine’s e-commerce market, which is currently demonstrating booming growth. The company has established itself as the largest independent online payments system in Ukraine, serving over a million of active users. EVF believes that Portmone.com has substantial growth potential, which is to be fueled by a rapid expansion of the country’s online and mobile payments market.

“Thanks to the top notch quality and reliability of service, Portmone.com has become one of the strongest brands in the market. With our investment, we intend to provide a new impetus to the company’s growth, focusing on expansion of the company’s client base, roll out of new products as well as service usability and simplicity. Portmone.com is a great addition to our investment portfolio, which today includes leading companies in FMCG, mass-media and pharmaceutical industries. Our partners are seasoned professionals and we are very enthusiastic about Portmone.com”, said Alex Munteanu, Managing Director of Europe Virgin Fund.

“We have created a simple, user-friendly and reliable service, the success of which is built on our hard work, cutting-edge technology and our desire for constant improvement and innovation that is driven by our focus on particular clients’ needs. Our client base includes payers, merchants, as well as banks, and we are determined to retain our position of a preferred provider of innovative services and value added to all of them. We are confident that Ukraine’s e-commerce market will experience stellar growth in the coming years, and are happy to have  EVF as a partner that fully shares our business philosophy and is dedicated to support the realization of our ambitious strategy and targets,” said Igor Gorin, CEO of Portmone.com.

 

About Portmone.com

Portmone.com is a leading online payments system in Ukraine. The service allows clients to make payments with their credit and debit cards for cellular services, TV and Internet, housing and utility services, insurance, periodicals, online-games, railway, bus and airplane tickets, entertainment events, as well as a large number of goods and services offered by internet shops. Starting from the middle of 2013 Portmone.com also offers P2P payments and online bank loans repayment. The company offers a wide variety of payment options (gateways) for clients, including its web-site, banks’ web-sites, billers’ web-sites, mobile devices, ATMs, and other. Portmone.com services over 1400 organizations and over 1 million active users. The company was founded in 2002.

Europe Virgin Fund Invests in Pharmaceutical Company Sperco Ukraine

Kyiv, January 31, 2013 – Europe Virgin Fund L.P. (‘EVF’), a regional private equity fund, has completed formation of a 50/50 joint venture with Ucrafarma S.A., a Spanish pharmaceutical company. The partners have united their forces in Lux PHARMA Participations SA, a Luxembourg-based holding company, with Ucrafarma transferring various pharmaceutical assets including its 95% stake in Sperco Ukraine LLC (‘Sperco’) and EVF providing development capital.

Established in 1997, Sperco is one of the top 10 pharmaceutical manufacturers in Ukraine, with a portfolio of 20 generic products. The company manufactures and markets lifestyle OTC and Rx pharmaceuticals in therapeutic areas such as cough and cold, women’s health, sedatives, pediatrics, dermatology and antibiotics. Sperco Ukraine is based in Vinnytsia, with a commercial hub in Kyiv. The company has over 300 employees.

The capital provided by EVF will be invested in completing reconstruction of the company’s manufacturing facilities in Vinnytsia in line with GMP standards, developing its product portfolio and expanding distribution network.

“We have been looking for an opportunity in the pharmaceutical sector where our investment could add value. Sperco has a solid portfolio of niche-leading products and a strong pipeline. Our capital will now enhance both the production and commercial sides of the business. Jointly with our Spanish partners, we have also strengthened the management. There is a lot of fresh wind and a great ambition to move Sperco Ukraine several notches up,» said Kamil Goca, Managing Director of Europe Virgin Fund.

“We have had 15 years of stable organic growth at Sperco, yet sensed the need to give the company a new impulse in order to meet the challenges of Ukraine’s fast developing market. Europe Virgin Fund, backed by many reputable investors and with its strong local expertise and network, perfectly met our desire,” said Juan Perez Calot, Member of the Board of Directors, Ucrafarma.

“Sperco has always been a European company committed to the development of Ukraine through the investment into our factory in Vinnytsia. EVF’s investment is a great piece of news for our customers, business partners and employees. We will continue our mission to develop and distribute modern and efficient medicines at affordable prices. To this end, we plan to collaborate with both health professionals and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine in creating a prevention culture among Ukrainian citizens,” said Jose Luis Colas, CEO, Lux PHARMA Group.

DLA Piper provided legal advice to EVF and Lynx Advisors jointly with Lupicinio Abogados served as legal counsels to Ucrafarma.

Europe Virgin Fund Invests in Prime Group and Welcomes BSTDB as a New Investor

Kyiv, November 3, 2011 — Europe Virgin Fund L.P. (‘EVF’), a regional private equity fund, has acquired a majority stake in Tetaxes Limited, a Cyprus-based holding company for Prime Group, one of Ukraine’s leading outdoor advertising operators.

Prime Group was established in 2008 and today is a leading outdoor advertising operator in the capital city of Ukraine, owning and managing more than 2,000 advertising displays.

EVF increased the equity of Prime Group, providing it with fresh capital to finance its expansion. Prime Group will continue to be led by its founders Vadim Frunze and Kateryna Khramova.

“It is very important to select the right business partner, one who shares your values, vision and ambitions to capture market opportunities and build the leading company in the industry. I trust that with EVF’s investment and support, Prime Group is entering a new phase of its growth and development,” said Vadim Frunze, the founder of Prime Group.

“This project is another investment of Europe Virgin Fund in Ukraine and we hope that the fresh capital, the strong business case and the talented and professional management team will make it a clear success story. Vadim Frunze is widely regarded as a market pioneer, and I am sure the company under his and Kateryna Khramova’s visionary management and expertise will develop into the clear leader in Ukraine’s outdoor advertising market,» said Alex Munteanu, Managing Director of Europe Virgin Fund.

DLA Piper and Salans provided legal counsel on the transaction between EVF and Prime Group.

 

“We are also very happy to welcome Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, a reputable international financial institution, as a new investor in EVF, which is a great sign of confidence in the expanding regional economy and professionalism of our investment team” – added Alex Munteanu.

“BSTDB’s participation in the Europe Virgin Fund is a vote of confidence in the Fund and its team, but also in the private sector in Ukraine and Moldova. We are delighted to join forces with Dragon Capital, EBRD and SIFEM in supporting equity financing for SMEs in these countries.

By supporting small and medium-sized companies in our countries, we can help maintain production and increase jobs in the longer term, thus contributing to the overall economic stability of the region”, said Andrey Kondakov, BSTDB President.


About BSTDB

The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (www.bstdb.org) is an international financial institution established by Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine. The BSTDB headquarters is in Thessaloniki, Greece. BSTDB supports economic development and regional cooperation by providing loans, credit lines, equity and guarantees for projects and trade financing in the public and private sectors in its member countries. BSTDB is rated long-term A by Standard and Poor’s and A3 by Moody’s.

Europe Virgin Fund Invests in Ukraine’s Leading Tissue Products Manufacturer Ruta

Kyiv, July 6, 2011 — Europe Virgin Fund L.P. (‘EVF’), a regional private equity fund, has acquired a majority stake in Tissico Limited, a Cyprus-based holding company for VGP, Ukraine’s leading manufacturer of hygiene products.

VGP is a major producer of toilet paper, paper towels, napkins and hankies located in Lutsk, western Ukraine. The company has approximately 20% market share of tissue paper products in Ukraine, enjoys strong market positions in Belarus and Moldova and is present in most other CIS markets. VGP’s primary brand ‘Ruta’ sells in nearly all large national and international retail chains, in numerous smaller format stores as well as other sales channels across Ukraine. The company also works extensively with leading retailers under private label arrangements.

This investment has been made by means of a share capital increase in Tissico Limited, providing the group with fresh capital to be used for expanding VGP’s production capacities and strengthening the company’s market position in both domestic and export markets. Illia Miretskyi, previously majority owner of VGP, has retained a significant minority shareholding in the group and shall continue managing VGP as Chief Executive Officer.

“We are happy to announce the investment in Ruta as EVF’s first transaction as it perfectly meets our investment strategy. The company’s management team led by Illia Miretskyi has done a tremendous job in establishing Ruta as a leading brand in the market. I am sure the team and the company will do even better with our capital and support» — said Kamil Goca, Managing Director of Europe Virgin Fund.

“In order to accomplish ambitious goals one needs not only the necessary capital, but also the right partner. I trust that with EVF’s investment, Ruta is entering a new phase of expansion. This investment makes us stronger and I am looking forward to intensified cooperation with our business partners and delivering even better products and services to our customers” — said Illia Miretskyi, CEO, VGP.

About VGP

VGP (www.ruta.ua) is Ukraine’s leading manufacturer of hygiene products such as toilet paper, paper towels, napkins and hankies. The company’s product portfolio is produced exclusively from natural, environmentally friendly virgin pulp, using high-tech equipment in accordance with generally accepted international standards. Having started the tissue paper products operations in 1999, VGP today accounts for about 20% of the Ukrainian market and successfully exports to Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Armenia, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan.

Europe Virgin Fund First Closing at $45 Million

Kyiv, August 31, 2010 – Europe Virgin Fund (EVF), a regional private equity fund investing in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, announced its first closing raising $45 million.

The Fund will invest in fast growing companies in a wide range of private sector mid-sized businesses with primary operations in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova and will acquire majority or significant minority stakes. The industry focus will be on FMCG, retail, industrial, telecom, media, technology, pharmaceuticals, construction materials and financial services companies.

Dragon Capital has committed to provide strong strategic support in addition to investing a minimum of $20 million to the Fund as one of the Limited Partners. The Europe Virgin Fund’s investors include the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets (SIFEM) and several private investors.

Commenting on the first closing of the Fund, Tomas Fiala, Managing Director of Dragon Capital, said: “In these challenging times for the global economy, the first closing of the Fund and the quality of the investors provide a strong seal of approval of the investment team as well as a good sign of confidence in the region.”

“We are glad to support a strong local team of investment professionals backed by Dragon Capital in frontier Eastern European markets that are well positioned to re-launch growth and provide for excellent investment opportunities”, said Anne Fossemalle, EBRD’s Director for Equity Funds.

The investment management team of the Fund will be led by Alex Munteanu, ex-World Bank and Horizon Capital professional having an extensive 14-year private equity track record, and Kamil Goca, one of the founders of Dragon Capital.

“We are very proud to secure the support of EBRD and SIFEM. We look forward to capitalize on perhaps once in a lifetime investment opportunities that emerged in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova in the aftermath of the global financial crisis”, said Alex Munteanu.

“The projections of International Monetary Fund suggest that emerging markets will expand nearly three times faster than advanced economies over the next few years. Europe Virgin Fund is set to exploit the growth prospects and deliver exceptional returns to its investors”, added Kamil Goca.

Salans is the legal advisor of the Fund.