February 2004 issue

News highlights

Private equity news

Proposed pension changes may boost PE market

Coller buys Abbey portfolio

Inflexion buys LMS portfolio

CDC restructured to form Actis

Acanthus and MMC join forces

European fund raising down 40%

Russell acquires Pantheon

Northern Venture Managers goes independent

nCoTec & Frontiers Capital merge

Part’Com renames and reaches first close

Residex Ventures formed

NStar seeks fund managers for NE England fund

AXA PE buys BdW

Venture capital

US venture capital looking up

AngelNews spreads the word

Pre-Budget Report: a boost for VCTs?

Israeli tech attracts $1bn


Standard Life breaks €1bn barrier

More funds for VCTs

Sigma launches Innovation Fund

Martin Currie boosts private equity offering

AMJPE closes buyout fund

Interim close for Gresham III

Activa Capital fund oversubscribed

CSFB closes secondary fund

Carlyle closes first European property fund


Baxi Group refinancing provides exit

3M buys Hörnell

Cinven to exit Unique Pub Company

Partial exit for BS Private Equity

EQT to sell Vaasan & Vaasan

Cambridge Silicon Radio to float

eBay acquires mobile.de

Deutsche divests further PE interests

Q4 IPO recovery

Flightstore floats on AIM

Advent International sells Loxam

CapMan makes Swedish sale

NextGenTel to list on Oslo Stock Exchange

Bridgepoint and Electra sell Gower

Groupe Plastex in secondary buyout

3i and Quester benefit from trade sale

CapVis sells Tobler

Burren Energy manages IPO

Aspen celebrates IPO

BC Partners makes partial exit with Barbero

MidOcean sells Center Parcs ahead of IPO

Barclays Ventures achieves holidays exit

Trade sales bring food sector exits for 3i

L&GV and ABN AMRO complete deal with Schneider Electric

CapMan sells caravan company

Spain’s 1st secondary MBO provides 3i exit

L&GV buys LGC from 3i

Permira exits dental businesses

AIM float of Pixology

Secondary buyouts provide Bridgepoint exits


KPMG CF appts

Morton’s charity marathon

Brenner to Benchmark

Ward joins Apax

GMAC CF expands

Ultreia advisory board

CapMan expands

Acanthus & MMC merge

ECI moves

Dechert in Munich

McInnesCF recruits

O’Melveny & Myers appts

Pro-South Yorkshire launch

Lloyds TSB Corporate new MD

Mannheimer Swartling doubles PE

Rothschild builds mezz team

Unigestion appts PE head

Commerzbank expands lev fin

3 for CIBC’s Euro buyout team

DVC builds life science

Speechley to Macfarlanes

Permira promotes

Beringea appts

FitzGerald to Carlyle

Carlyle promotes

Acanthus recruits

Part’Com renamed Iris Capital

CBPE moves

CVC promotes

KPMG new head

Ashurst name change

Martin Currie forms panel

Gresham appts

AMJPE recruits

Lloyds TSB expands

Nordic Mezzanine appts

Keyhaven recruits


Energy sector: the power and the glory?

Last year the lights went out in both New York and London as these major cities and areas of other developed countries such as Italy, Sweden and Denmark, suffered large-scale power cuts. Suddenly people’s attention turned to the challenges facing the energy sector. Where there’s change there’s opportunities for the private equity industry and a number of drivers mean the energy sector is likely to be the focus of increased investment activity in the years to come. Louise Cowley looks at what and where the opportunities are and who’s best placed to take advantage of them.

Asset-based lending hots up

Recent asset-based lending activity in the US has further reinforced this finance tool as a popular mainstream option with recent deals for well-known companies such as Levis Strauss, Sachs of Fifth Avenue and Polaroid funding some of their business development this way. While UK and continental European deals may be a long way off the $600m working capital facility completed by San Francisco-based Levis Strauss last year, many deals are now topping £100m and so are appealing to larger companies than before. There are strong expectations in the market that a deal in excess of £200m will be signed in Europe before 2004 is out. Anthony O’Connor reports

Buyouts: IPO prospects for 2004

After four years in the doldrums there finally appears to be some wind in the sails of the IPO market. Louise Cowley considers the relationship between VCs and fund managers and asks, ‘how private equity-backed offerings will fare in 2004?’

Legal & Regulatory Exchange: VCTs seek new investor base

December 10, 2003 saw UK Chancellor Gordon Brown announce the proposed changes to the VCT subscription reliefs, as part of his pre-Budget statement. These changes have not been confirmed and may be subject to amendment. But it is probable that as of April 6, 2004 capital gains tax (CGT) deferral will be abolished and from April 2006 a new income tax-based incentive will be introduced of an equivalent value to CGT deferral. In addition, the government has proposed it will pay an extra 20% of the amount raised from investors directly to VCTs for the next two years. What does this mean for VCTs and is it likely to kick-start the industry opening doors to a whole new investor base? asks Angela Sormani

LP Corner: Succession

Succession is increasingly becoming an issue institutional investors feel under pressure to devote their time and attention to as many of the founders and senior partners in their funds edge into their mid 50s and beyond. But in many private equity and venture capital firms the subject is strictly off limits. Why, and will that change now that some institutional investors seem prepared to force the issue into the open before they commit to the next surge of fund raisings? Lisa Bushrod reports

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