Spain Private Equity Has 3.2 Billion Euros to Invest, ASCRI Says

Spanish private-equity firms have about 3.2 billion euros ($4.1 billion) to invest in companies as the economic crisis creates options to buy assets at lower prices, according to a report by an industry lobby group today.

Buyout firms in Spain see 2012 as “key” for the industry after a challenging year in 2011, said Maite Ballester, chairman of the Spanish Association of Private Equity Entities, or ASCRI. Average prices for Spanish assets have fallen significantly, she added.

The volume of investment in 2011 dropped 7 percent to 3.25 billion euros from a year earlier, and half that amount consisted of deals by international investors, according to the report.

Spanish private-equity companies are finding it difficult to raise money to finance deals as “the image of Spain abroad is very negative right now,” Diana Capital Chief Executive Officer Francisco Gomez-Zubeldia told reporters in Madrid today. “We have delayed some meetings with investors in London to see whether the new government makes a difference or not.”

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