Amadeus Speeds To First Close

Amadeus Capital Partners has rounded up GBP20 million (ecu 30 million) from four major international investors in what must surely be one of the fastest closings yet seen for a first-time fund. Only a month elapsed between the issue of the memorandum and the first closing. Microsoft, which emerged as a cornerstone investor for Amadeus in late summer (EVCJ August/September, page 8), was joined by Rabobank Gilde, Reuters and Bank of America. Microsoft has allocated an additional GBP5 million for investment alongside the fund and other participants have expressed intentions to co-invest alongside Amadeus Capital Partners where appropriate.

A final closing for the fund, which is being marketed to corporations and institutions in Europe and the US and will be capped at o40 million, is expected during the first quarter of 1998. A side vehicle for private investors is currently awaiting regulatory approval.

Hermann Hauser, who launched Amadeus with partners Anne Glover and Peter Wynn, described fund raising to date as a “very satisfying experience: now, people clearly realise the potential of high-tech start up and early-stage investment to a degree that would have been unthinkable a few years back”.

Strong institutional appetite for the fund is matched by deal flow, which is extremely strong: Hermann Hauser said areas which are particularly well represented include Internet- and e-commerce-related areas, software, graphics and networking. Mirroring the rapidity of its fund-raising, Amadeus is hitting the ground running on the investment front. Anne Glover predicted that heads of terms for two investments would be agreed by late December, with the deals expected to complete in January.

Some of the coverage received by Amadeus has portrayed the fund as a Cambridge-focused vehicle, an impression the partners are keen to correct. Although the fund does have a particular affinity with the Cambridge area, thanks to the “Silicon Fen” phenomenon, its remit covers the entire UK, while its aspirations are global. The name Amadeus was carefully chosen to reflect the group’s ambitions, Anne Glover explained: “We wanted a classic name which would stand the test of time, with connotations of world-class creativity emerging from within Europe, since we are targeting entrepreneurs with the calibre to build businesses on a global scale, who will be able to meet our ambitious targets in terms of returns to investors”.