Advent International spin-out targets Poland deals

Two former directors at Boston-based Advent International have set up a private equity firm in Poland, according to people familiar with the matter.

Christian Senye and Pawel Ryszkiewicz founded Warsaw-based Empirio Capital in January 2016 and are in negotiations with European investors about partnering on deals in Poland.

Empirio Capital will operate on a deal-by-deal basis and may raise a traditional private equity fund once it has done a few investments, according to one person familiar with the matter.

The firm will make mid-cap private equity investments in Poland involving equity tickets of between €15 million and €40 million. It will target investments in business services, financial services, healthcare and industrials, the person said.

Senye was a director at Advent between August 2005 and December 2015, while Ryszkiewicz served as a director at the firm between August 2011 and December 2015. Before working at Advent, Ryszkiewicz was an investment director at European private equity firm Bridgepoint, according to his LinkedIn profile.

At Advent, the pair worked in the firm’s CEE team, which was investing its €1 billion central and eastern European-focused vehicle raised in 2008. However, the performance of the vehicle has been poor. It was generating an internal rate of return of 5% as of September 30, 2015, according to performance data from the California State Teachers’ Retirement System.

In 2013, Advent, which is investing from its latest $ 13 billion global buyout fund, shelved plans for another CEE-focused fund and instead said it would target the region through its global buyout vehicle. Advent has also closed its Warsaw and Prague offices, Private Equity News reported in December 2015.

CORRECTION: This article was updated to correct a misspelling of Pawel Ryszkiewicz’s name.

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