* Venture to focus on European bank, insurance deals -source
* Deals will be at least 300 mln eur -source
By Simon Meads
LONDON, Oct 3 Blackstone has set up a
joint venture with mid-sized rival Anacap to hunt for private
equity deals in Europe's embattled banking sector, a person
familiar with the situation said.
The venture between the New York-listed private equity
powerhouse and financial services specialist Anacap will target
banking and insurance deals in areas including consumer and
Private equity houses are increasingly targeting the
financial services sector as the prospect of strict regulation
forces banks to shed non-core divisions and portfolios of loans
and other assets.
Together, Blackstone and Anacap are looking to spend at
least 300 million euros ($388.05 million), the person added.
Blackstone has a long track record of investing in financial
services in the United States, but has found it more difficult
to find banking investments in Europe.
The firm considered backing a new banking start-up in 2010
but the bank was never established.
By joining forces with Anacap, led by the former heads of
General Motors' British finance arm, Blackstone will be hoping
to tap the firm's experience in the sector and its access to new
Anacap was the first private equity house to invest in a
British bank, buying Ruffler Bank in 2009. It has since renamed
it Aldermore and focuses on mortgages and lending to small and
medium sized businesses.
It also owns consumer debt business Cabot and Czech retail
banking group Equabank.