GIMV Unveils International Goals –

ANTWERP, Belgium – GIMV, the Flanders-based investment group announced in October a ecu 100 million ($118.1 million) raft of commitments to international funds, signaling the group’s intention to significantly expand beyond its domestic market.

Three of the fund investments – Sofinnova Capital III, Galileo II and REL-Club Deal – involve France-focused funds. GIMV will also invest in Caisse de Depot et Placement de Quebec’s Asia Equity Infrastructure Fund, as well as launch its own funds for investment in the Czech Republic and South East Asia.

GIMV has actively invested outside its domestic market for some time, but until now, the group has chiefly acted as a co-investor.

As it steps up its international activities, GIMV will now adopt a more active role – its chosen term is “co-initiator” – in its alliances, as demonstrated by the arrangements made with its new international partners.

As well as committing ecu 2.3 million ($2.72 million) each to the FFr 600 million ($105.83 million) Sofinnova Capital III and FFr 500 million ($88.19 million) Galileo II vehicles, GIMV will actively co-invest with Sofinnova and Galileo in selected projects.

GIMV has allocated ecu 18 million ($21.26 million) for investment in buyouts introduced by the specialist MBO management group REL as part of a three strong investor club: BancBoston and a third party, yet to be identified, will each commit the same amount. REL will introduce deals to the participants, who will make their investment decisions on a case-by-case basis.

GIMV’s ecu 8.4 million ($9.92 million) investment in the $400 million Asia Equity Infrastructure Fund will enhance the group’s market penetration as it works to establish its own $60 million South East Asia fund, scheduled to begin operations during this year. Opportunities for the GIMV fund will be sourced via an agreement with the Nippon Investment & Finance Company and the Walden Group, both of which are long-standing members of GIMV’s international network.

The GIMV Czech Republic fund, scheduled for launch at the end of 1999, will have a target of ecu 25 million ($29.52 million). GIMV, which has already established a team in the Czech Republic, itself will commit ecu 15 million ($17.71 million) to the fund.

GIMV, a listed investment company has net assets totaling approximately BFr 75.4 billion ($2.16 billion).