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Access was founded in December 1998 and is majority-owned by its management. It manages or advises €6 billion of aggregate investor commitments from a diversified client base of over 150 institutional and private investors.
Taking advantage of its local presence in the five largest private equity markets, Access is entirely dedicated to Europe in its investment strategies. As such, it has one of the widest teams to ensure exhaustive market coverage, continual oversight and strong relationships with General Partners.
A core focus of Access is on private equity. Since inception, Access has kept its core focus on the selection of smaller buy-out funds (less than € 1 billion in size) through primary commitments and secondary transactions. Drawing on its longstanding relationships with the best performing fund managers, Access also offers co-investment opportunities in portfolio companies. Key value drivers remain pricing discipline, controlled levels of leverage, combined with organic and acquisitive growth. Access has stuck with these fundamental principles to generate a sustainable return model for its investors.
Building on this core private equity expertise, the team has progressively developed investment programs in mezzanine and private debt, combining fund investments and direct co-investments in mezzanine.
Furthermore, Access has a strong expertise in Infrastructure investing. Leveraging its expertise in the European private equity, Access’ integrated investment platform also combines primary and secondary fund investments with direct co-investments in European infrastructure.
Profitable growth has always been the foundation of Access’ investment philosophy. Since inception, Access has consistently selected fund managers investing in businesses with strong market positions, significant development potential and predictable positive cash flows. Beyond numbers, Access shares with its fund managers the same passion for companies and has developed over time a detailed knowledge of its underlying portfolio companies.
Access Capital Partners differs from traditional secondary funds by incorporating a secondary allocation in all its primary programs and keeping an identical geographic and strategic focus. Over the years, Access has become one of the most active secondary investors in its market space.
As a signatory of the Principles for Responsible Investment instituted by the United Nations, Access pays particular attention to the respect of international law on human rights, and to the application of Environmental, Social, and Governance criteria to the management of its funds.
The smaller buy-outs, private debt and infrastructure markets consist of a large pool of players with varying degrees of experience and performance. Through regular market screening and pro-active deal flow generation, Access provides an exhaustive coverage of these market segments in order to identify potential outperformers. Access’ investments professionals actively track a pool of more than 500 European private assets fund managers. Portfolio construction combines a top-down approach using optimal diversification across multiple dimensions with a qualitative bottom-up assessment of the underlying funds. In selecting funds, Access follows a thorough due diligence process, particularly with respect to analysis of the operating performance of unrealized portfolio companies, benchmarking, reference checks, and negotiation of terms and conditions.
Co-investment opportunities are mostly generated from fund managers in which Access has invested and with whom the team has developed a long-standing relationship. The dedicated co-investment resources within Access allow for a disciplined and thorough due diligence process including exhaustive review of the overall investment case and value creation model, analysis of the management team’s quality and expertise, deal structure and lead sponsor expertise.
Access’ approach to building co-investment programs includes diversification across industry sectors, geographies within Europe, fund managers and vintage years.
Private debt and mezzanine financing
In this segment, Access seeks to generate an excellent risk adjusted return and strong down side protection by building a diversified portfolio of private debt co-investments combined with primary and secondary commitments to mezzanine and private debt funds.
Access’ investment focus remains the smaller buy-outs segment with enterprise values typically below €500m.
Risk monitoring and management
The monitoring and risk management process involves close cooperation between the investment and monitoring teams, whose members follow rigorous internal control procedures.
During the lifetime of each portfolio fund, Access actively monitors risks and uncertainty of cash flows through a proper assessment and tracking of each business’ key performance indicators including sales, EBITDA and debt levels. It also assesses the General Partners’ capability in handling changing business conditions.
Thanks to a systematic advisory board representation, Access is kept constantly informed on deal and strategy related issues.