比如，黑石集团（The Blackstone Group）最近就表示将“放弃”这个国家。数周前，一群前高盛（Goldman Sachs）银行家也放弃了一个20亿美元的新兴市场基金计划，该基金原本打算对俄罗斯进行高比例配置。还有一些私募巨头打算离开资产规模达110亿美元的俄罗斯国有直接投资基金(Russian Direct Investment Fund)顾问委员会，至少也在重新考虑他们的参与程度。
Russia is not a place where Western private equity wants to play right now. Too much conflict, too many sanctions.
For example, The Blackstone Group recently said that it was “giving up” on the country, just weeks after a group of ex-Goldman Sachs bankers abandoned plans for a $2 billion emerging markets fund that was expected to have a major Russian allocation. And then there are the PE bigs who either are leaving the advisory board of the $11 billion state-owned Russian Direct Investment Fund, or who are at least reconsidering their involvement.
So why is Sweden-based private equity firm CapMan not only maintaining its Moscow team, but this morning announcing that it has closed its second Russia-focused fund with nearly €100 million in capital commitments?
Jerome Bouix, CapMan’s head of biz dev and investor relations, tells me that most of the fundraising occurred last year (i.e., before Russia’s annexation of Crimea), acknowledging that many promising leads dried up as the geopolitical situation intensified in 2014. But he says that none of the 2013 commitments bailed, and argues that the sanctions should not be too problematic for the fund, which focuses on “consumer-driven” small and mid-sized companies inside of Russia.
For starters, the Russian consumer isn’t going anywhere. Second, some of these companies actually are in an improved position today, as a combination of sanctions and the ruble’s devcaluation have made locally-produced goods more affordable than rival imports. Third, many of CapMan’s historical exits of Russian portfolio companies were trade sales to Russian buyers (of course, many were not, which seems to be a plausible cause for concern).
“We started in Russia in 1996, and have had a lot of similar discussions in years like 1998 and 2000,” Bouix explains. “We are confident that the companies were are investing in will find buyers in the future.”