NETHERLANDS - AlpInvest, the private equity house owned by ABP and PGGM, is to spin off its buy-out team into a new company.

"The buy-out team of private equity investor AlpInvest Partners will become independent as of January 1 2006 and will go by the name of Taros Capital," it said.

AlpInvest, which has €20bn in assets under management, was formerly known as NIB Capital Private Equity. It was itself spun off from the now sold NIB Capital in February last year.

The news follows figures from the International Financial Services London body that global private equity investments increased to $178bn in 2004.

"The buy-out team has developed into a powerful player in the buy-out market and is ready to profile itself independently in the market," said AlpInvest chief executive Volkert Doeksen.

Taros will run €550m of AlpInvest's lead buy-out investments in the Benelux and Germany.

AlpInvest said it initiated the move to enable both outfits to concentrate on their own areas of expertise and create "a clearer positioning for both entities". Taros will be able to attract third party investors.

AlpInvest will focus on primary and secondary fund investments, co- investments and mezzanine finance.

The Taros partners will be Alexander van Wassenaer, Paul Lamers, Jan Moulijn and Christian Bächle. Taros will have branches in Amsterdam, Antwerp and Frankfurt.