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Tikehau Capital wins €400mn investment from two of the families behind AB InBev

France’s Tikehau Capital has secured €400mn in backing from two of the secretive founding families of beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev to help fuel the next stage of the €38bn alternatives manager’s international expansion.

The Van Damme and Van der Straten Ponthoz families will invest the €400mn in equity in Tikehau Capital Advisors, the main shareholder in a publicly traded business spanning private debt, real assets, private equity and capital markets strategies.

The funding will come through SFI, a subsidiary of Patrinvest, a long-term investment vehicle representing the two AB InBev families, which has also combined on deals with Brazil’s 3G Capital and German conglomerate JAB Holdings.

Following the transaction, the Van Damme and Van der Straten Ponthoz families will indirectly own 9.3 per cent of Euronext-listed Tikehau Capital.

Alexandre Van Damme, the billionaire chair of Patrinvest and a key architect of AB InBev’s acquisition-fuelled growth, and another representative of the investment company, Gregory d’Ursel, will join the board of Tikehau Capital Advisors.

“We built this firm by partnering with institutions and families,” Antoine Flamarion, co-founder of Tikehau, said in an interview. “Our goal is to build a global champion in the alternative investment space . . . Having the right partner will help us to grow in a successful manner.”

Paris-based Tikehau was founded in 2004 with €4mn in assets and has emerged as one of Europe’s fastest-growing asset managers in recent years. Its two founders, Mathieu Chabran and Flamarion, formerly of Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs, were aged only 28 and 31 when they set it up, with vocal ambitions to build a “Blackstone of Europe”.

Tikehau, named after a Pacific coral atoll in French Polynesia, listed on Euronext Paris in 2017 through a reverse merger. Its assets have grown from €10bn at its listing to about €38bn today, with 740 employees across 14 offices.

The group has raised funds to invest in cyber technology, defence and aerospace assets and energy transition companies among other areas. It is targeting €65bn in assets under management by 2026 through organic growth.

“We’re at a critical moment in the development of the group,” said Chabran. He pointed to potential acquisition opportunities in the US and Asia, where Tikehau sees opportunities to both raise money from the large pools of savings and make investments.

The deal comes as alternatives managers are grappling with higher interest rates, tighter access to loans and decreasing valuations, which the Tikehau founders said was all the more reason to go on the offensive.

“The cycle has changed,” said Flamarion. “People will start realising that the party is over.”

Tikehau Capital Advisors owns just over half of Tikehau Capital. Once the transaction is completed, Tikehau Capital Advisors will be two-thirds owned by its management and the remainder held by investors including SFI, Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek and Morgan Stanley Investment Management.

The firm has €3.1bn of equity on its balance sheet and uses this to invest alongside clients in each of its strategies.

Subject to shareholder approval, Maximilien de Limburg Stirum, executive chair of SFI, will join Tikehau Capital’s supervisory board.

Tikehau’s management and Financière Agache, a holding company controlled by France’s Arnault family, are also buying out the Peugeot family’s 6 per cent stake in Tikehau Capital Advisors.

The Peugeots, known primarily for their links to the eponymous car brand, were announced this week as among the major new investors in a deal to take Franco-British investment bank Rothschild & Co private.

SFI intends to support Tikehau “to reinforce its position as a global leader in its sector”, said Van Damme in a statement.

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