Editor’s Letter: Keeping the heat on Germany

Management buyout and management buy-in activity levels in the UK market for first quarter of year 2000, provided by the Centre for Management Buyout Research (CMBOR) didn’t make particularly stirring reading. The figures came in at 99 management buyouts worth GBP2.05 million and 36 deals worth GBP1.85 million of management buy-ins – fairly in line with the same period in 1999.

While the UK remains the most active management buyout and buy-in market in Europe, the figures everyone is really interested in these days are the ones that show how things are shaping up in continental Europe.

France came in ahead of Germany for total number of management buyouts and management buy-ins in the first quarter despite the headlong rush of funds and private equity specialists setting up offices in Germany – see private equity news this issue.

Arguably most of the interesting activity in the German market is still happening at the venture end of the scale. See this issue’s feature on Munich, which naturally touches on the German market in general and the factors that are expected to give the German buyout market a boost in the coming year.

Although UK and US venture capital and private equity players seem blinded by the continental European light, there are some that are keeping an eye on events further afield. For a review of what and who is happening in Asia see this issue’s feature on European venture capitalists investing in Asia.

Asset-backed finance features for the first time in EVCJ – with the market beginning to get firmly established in the UK, heads are turning to continental Europe. To find out about the hurdles faced see the features in this issue.

This issue also looks at venture capital activity in the healthcare sector, which like IT and the Internet is attracting a lot of money and interest at the moment but is potentially more sustainable than dotcoms and is likely to get hotter as the year progresses.