CENTRAL EUROPE - Baring Private Equity Partners has announced the first closing of its Baring Central European Fund (BCEF) at e75m. The Guernsey based fund, sponsored by Baring Private Equity Partners (BPEP), a member of the ING Group, currently invests in private equity in Poland, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria.

“The closing comes at a time when investment opportunities in the region are multiplying. The fund has a strong pipeline of opportunities, and this closing will allow it to continue to build its portfolio,” says Gyuri Karady, managing partner of the fund.

The fund is managed by Karady, William Watson, Jacek Pogonowski and Leo Gherghina, based in Warsaw, Bucharest and London.
A Budapest office will be opened during the first quarter of this year, the company says.

The investors in the first closing include a sponsoring commitment from the ING Group and undisclosed substantial commitments from the European Investment Fund (EIF) and a major US institutional investor, the fund manager says.

Fundraising will continue in Europe, Middle East and the US into the third quarter of the year, anticipating a series of closings as investors complete their approval processes.