• BlackPeak Capital, a growth equity investment firm operating in Southeast Europe, has unveiled its intention to invest up to €40 million in Romania through its Southeast Europe Growth Equity Fund.
• Within this fund, BlackPeak targets outstanding entrepreneurs who are aiming to build global companies based on continued innovation, organic growth, and add-on acquisitions.
• Last year, the Southeast Europe Growth Equity Fund raised €126 million.
The Luxembourg-based fund is backed by the European Investment Fund, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Erste Asset Management, BCR Pensii, and other prominent regional pension funds. With this robust foundation, BlackPeak stands well-equipped to create a significant impact in Romania and the wider region.
Their investment strategy includes collaborating with founders/shareholders that seek to team up with a minority private equity partner to support their business growth, for a €5-10M ticket size. They are searching for market leaders with a proven track-record of growth and a competitive advantage, with preferred industries including niche manufacturing, business services, software and technology, consumer/food/retail, and healthcare/pharma.
Success stories in the BlackPeak portfolio
BlackPeak has also recently welcomed Virgil Chitu as the new lead for Romania, to oversee the fund’s local investment endeavors. He brings extensive experience in investment banking, including through his roles at Citi across different countries.
Their investment plans in Romania align with the dedication to backing innovative and prosperous companies that also contribute positively to the region on the economic, social, and environmental fronts.
One such example within BlackPeak’s portfolio is Verdino Green Foods, a Romanian company specializing in plant-based meat alternatives. BlackPeak’s investment in 2021 facilitated the expansion of their product exports to over 13 countries, including Germany, the UK, Netherlands, Poland, and the US.
Furthermore, BlackPeak’s portfolio includes two of the fastest-growing European companies listed in the FT1000 rankings: GenePlanet, a Slovenian biotech leader founded by Marko Bitenc, and euShipments, a leading provider of logistics integration solutions in Bulgaria and SEE, run by Svetlozar Dimitrov.
Additionally, BlackPeak has invested in Telelink Infra Services, a prominent Bulgarian firm specializing in infrastructure and digitalization solutions for the UK and German markets.
Adding an ESG lens to the investment strategy
BlackPeak also has a formalized ESG investment approach, as it aims to both encourage its environmental impact from operations, as well as encourage portfolio companies to do the same and support them in measuring and reducing their carbon footprint.
The process starts with a BPC exclusion list and ESG due diligence, whereby they also develop an action plan if necessary. After closing the deal, target companies go through an overall ESG onboarding meeting, a greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) accounting workshop, data collection and measurement, and finally, setting goals and reporting on the journey.
“We firmly believe that sustainable growth is the only path to achieving our goals. That’s why we support companies on their journey towards achieving net zero,” says Virgil Chitu.