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Blackstone, Anacap set up JV for potential bank deals in Europe

US based alternative asset management firm Blackstone and Anacap Financial Partners in London have established a joint venture with an aim to acquire European banking and insurance businesses.

Sources familiar with the matter told Financial Times that the US private equity group and its UK partner reached an agreement to formally set up a partnership after carrying out discussions for more than six years.

Both companies are planning to spend over €300m through the alliance on separate banking and insurance deals, including consumer and corporate lending.

Anacap co-managing partner Joe Giannamore was quoted by the news agency as saying, "The next three years should see an acceleration of opportunities for us compared with the past three, as there is much more willingness today to sell non-core assets."

The new joint venture comes at a time when many European banks and insurance firms are shedding their non-core business operations due to regulatory pressure and lack of capital.

Blackstone has in the past invested in several US financial firms, including BankUnited in Florida and manages a team of six financial services buyout specialists.

Anacap was established in 2006 and currently manages a team of 32 investment professionals who cater to banking and insurance arenas.

The private equity group first purchased Ruffler Bank in the UK, in 2009, and rebranded it as Aldermore, which offers financial assistance to small and medium-sized companies.