Catayst Romania, the leading national private equity growth and venture capital fund targeting Technology-Media-Telecommunication SMEs, has acquired a 30% stake in www.avocatnet.ro. The fund will support the entrepreneurs turn the leading resource of legislative and business information for SMEs into a complex platform able to deliver specialized products and services to companies. Catalyst Romania is a local premiere as the first PE&VC fund to be financed mainly by the European Investment Fund (EIF) through the JEREMIE initiative, as part of the Sectoral Operational Programme “Increasing of Economic Competitiveness", co-financed by European Regional Development Fund.

www.avocatnet.ro was established as a community and resource of legislative information which later become a broader platform providing both editorial and user generated content for SMEs, business consultants and professionals active in law and accounting. The platform currently integrates specialized and business information and reported a record of over 1 mil. unique visitors in March 2013, for a second month in a row, placing the website in leading position in the online business publications segment in Romania.

The transaction was structured as a share capital increase which implies that the entire set of Catalyst Romania contribution will be used for the development of the online platform.

www.avocatnet.ro is a local champion with a loyal audience, well defined, with a privileged position and the expertise that allows it to capitalize on the needs of SMEs for useful and relevant products, services and information. We are excited to start the partnership with the shareholders and the management team who have a strong vision and a credible plan for growth, consistent with our investment policy. We will actively support the company's evolution, by providing both financing for the business plans, as well as strategic and management know-how, thus capitalizing on our expertise and the network of experts and resources", stated Mihai Sfintescu, Team Leader Catalyst Romania.

"The partnership with Catalyst Romania concludes a period of searching for us when we tried to join a credible and professional investor. The pedigree of the team and the fund has weighed significantly in the decision to open our project to partner, along with chemistry in terms of the growth model and the way of working together. Along with Catalyst we will pursue the vision to become the leading online source of information and services for businesses in Romania", stated Alin Popescu, Managing Partner www.avocatnet.ro. "The first stage for the investment involves the completion and launch, in the next period, of www.superlege.ro, a processing service for legislative information and documents that provide the users with simple, fast and effective updates, queries and annotations", added Alin Popescu.

“The European Investment Fund is glad to support, through the JEREMIE initiative, the Catalyst Romania fund, with its focus on businesses in the technology, media and telecommunication (TMT) sectors. The fund will not only provide financing for SMEs but also valuable expertise and management guidance that will help innovative SMEs grow and capitalize more on local and regional opportunities - thus catalyzing the overall Venture Capital ecosystem in Romania", stated Hubert Cottogni, Deputy Director and Head of Regional Business Development, EIF.

Catalyst Romania Fund will provide local SMEs active mainly in the TMT sector with investments ranging between 200.000 EUR and 2 mil. EUR. Along with the EIF, whose contribution through JEREMIE makes is the largest investor, BT Asset Management (BTAM), member of BT Financial Group, 3TS Capital Partners and other private investors have made capital commitments to Catalyst Romania Fund. The Fund is advised by 3TS Capital Partners (www.3tscapital.com), which is one of the leading private equity and venture capital firms in Central and Eastern Europe.

JEREMIE is an initiative aiming to support access to finance for SMEs through financial instruments financed by the Structural Funds allocated to the Member States. In Romania, JEREMIE is funded by the Sectoral Operational Programme "Increase of Economic Competitiveness" 2007-2013, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

Catalyst Romania was assisted by Biris Goran law firm, Emilian Duca (Tax&Business Solutions) and Alina Dumitrescu (Transaction Experts) in completing the transaction.


JEREMIE ("Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises" or "Joint European Resources for Micro to medium Enterprises in") is a joint initiative of the Directorate-General for Regional Policy of the European Commission and the European Investment Bank Group (which includes European Investment Fund), which aims to improve access to finance for SMEs in the European Union.

JEREMIE enables Member States and regions to devote national resources and structural funds to create funds to participate ("holding funds") that can finance SMEs in a flexible and innovative ways. The initiative aims to develop and encourage entrepreneurship in the European Union, in order to meet the Lisbon agenda while leading to a more efficient use of structural funds.