Cazenove PE and Prelude to merge

Cazenove Private Equity (CPE), the UK venture firm, is to spinout from Cazenove Capital Management and merge with Prelude Ventures. The new business is expected to officially launch in mid 2006, following approval from CPE’s LPs and after receiving regulatory consents.

The combined entity will have £285m under management and has approximately £100m to spend on new and follow-on investments. The CPE team will continue to manage the £234m New Europe Access Fund, and Prelude will continue to manage Prelude Trust plc, the £46m listed investment trust.

CPE investment director Simon Cook will be chief executive, with Bob Hook, managing director of Prelude, becoming chairman. CPE’s Stuart Chapman, also an investment director, and Alan Duncan of Prelude will both become managing partners. Founding CEO of CPE Tod Bensen, will return to the US at the conclusion of the spinout and merger process, after 20 years in London with Cazenove. The new group will have a total of 17 combined partners and staff, operating in offices in London and Cambridge.