BVCA tackles disclosure

The British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA) is to launch a working group to examine ways in which levels of disclosure among companies backed by private equity firms could be improved.

The group is to be overseen by Sir David Walker, a senior adviser at Morgan Stanley, former chairman of Morgan Stanley International, former executive director of the Bank of England and the former chairman of the Securities and Investment Board.

The group aims to tackle some of the criticisms leveled at the industry over the past year in regards to its transparency, while at the same time ensuring smaller companies are not over-whelmed with new reporting requirements.

Rod Selkirk, chairman of the BVCA, said: “This initiative reflects the coming of age of the private equity industry as a mainstream asset class in the UK. We recognise that the industry’s success has led to growing and legitimate interest in its activities. We plan to build on our existing high-standards of transparency and openness to our investors by increasing the level of disclosure to a wider group of stakeholders. This working group will be fully attentive to the need to avoid any additional reporting burdens on the smaller companies backed by private equity and venture capital.”

The working group will produce a voluntary code addressing the levels of disclosure and how PE-backed companies communicate with its wide-range of stakeholders.

The BVCA’s announcement has been welcomed by a range of Europe’s top private equity firms including Apax, Cinven, CVC and Permira to name but a few.

For a more detailed analysis, please see the ‘Legal and Regualtory’ section of the April edition of EVCJ. Please contact Tom Allchorne on tom.allchorne@thomson.com for more details.