February 2006 issue

News analysis

Editor’s Note

As we trundled through the December rush of parties and present buying, newspapers were full of reminiscences of what befell in 2005 and the start to a New Year is always an editorial mix of what went before and what’s coming. We’ve largely stuck to what’s been happening so far this year and what’s coming in this issue and relegated the year gone by to the review supplement enclosed with this issue. Many of you will have seen this already, as it includes the awards EVCJ conferred on practitioners in the European private equity industry for outstanding work undertaken in 2005, and so was handed out to attendees at the awards ceremony in London on January 31.

Low cost venture deals?

Standard documentation to be published shortly by the British Venture Capital Association (BVCA) could reduce the transaction costs on early stage venture deals. But how effective will this initiative prove and, in the longer term, could it lead to similar standardisation in Continental Europe?

Corporate venturing: a new approach

Corporate venturing is making a comeback and with it comes a new approach that draws on the experience of traditional venture capitalists either in a formal or informal capacity. Syndication of corporate venturing deals with traditional venture capitalists is increasing and technology giant IBM last year hit the news when it launched a venture capital advisory council made up of VCs from some of the world’s leading firms. Angela Sormani reports.

News highlights

AXA and Caisse embark on €1.5bn partnership

Baring Corilius acquired by SGAM

2005: UK buyouts boom

Founding partners leave Compass

Changes ahead for AIM

Frontiers Capital acquires Vesta portfolio

New Finnish VC fund launched

Panmure Capital launches

Murray VCTs complete merger

Food industry warned over CEE risks

Guidelines website launched

Dutch pension fund to invest €100m in PE

Corporate venturing down

3i’s energy boost

GE Commercial opens in Germany

Loan investors warned over default risks

VCTs left waiting

Non-exec recruitment practice launched

AlpInvest Partners gets record mandate

FRR eyeing private equity

UK manufacturing going strong

Nova adds BPEP to growing portfolio

GED and Warburg to develop SE European property

ING sells Steadfast stake

Retail sees £2bn fall in deal value

PE a threat to corporates

Conference growth attracts private equity

Fruit and veg ripe for consolidation

Seed through early stage

PPE welcomes private investors

Braveheart launches new fund

Help is at hand!

Seed success in Oxford

Sigma joins Scottish Enterprise

Fund news

Lead story

New Finnish venture fund launched

Conor Venture Partners has launched a €50m tech fund. Tom Allchorne reports.

Quick view


Vestar closes on $3.7bn

HitecVision energy fund close

London Asia launches Chinese fund

Danske III raises €311m

SES Iberian fund close

Investcorp raises US$300m

Perfectis II closes on €122m

LGV 5 raises £200m

SE Europe fund lists on AIM

Pond Ventures closes above target

Blackstone’s US$12bn record

AiM VCT seeks £40m more

ACP Capital raises £50m

EQT Opportunity fund close

CAM smashes fund target

NeoMed Innovation IV fund close

Baronsmead VCT 3 closes oversubscribedc.dutreil@wendel-investissement.com

New Finnish VC fund launched

€650m raised for CE

Duke Street on fund six

Exit news

Lead story

Carapelli falls into Spanish hands

Italian olive oil brand Carapelli Firenze SpA has been sold to Spanish food group SOS Cuétara for €132.5m, which also includes debt of €36m. The Florentine brand will join SOS Cuétara’s oil and olives stable of products, which include the Carbonell and Koipe brands. Angela Sormani reports.

Quick view


UK IPOs up by 64% since 2003

Punch buys Spirit

BC reduces C&C stake

Door sells Vest-Wood

Sagard acquires Souriau

Mappin & Webb goes to Baugur

3i sells Carix to Pemco

Carlyle and Providence buy Com Hem

Vestar in Nybron secondary

Partial exit for Kleinwort

Mid Europa Partners acquires Aster City Cable

Nordic sells Anticimex to Ratos

Safilo returns to the market

Dufry floats

IK doubles money on VSM sale

Funcom floats

Apax and Goldman out of Kabel Deutschland

Bridgepoint sells Nocibé

ABN AMRO Capital makes gain on Puzzler

Ipsen IPO

3i sells AC Hotels stake

3i triples return on Warren sale

Deutsche Beteiligungs exits SAF

Doncasters sold for £700m

Lehman Brothers and Ratos sells Tornet

CBPE makes gain on Laybond

BioAlliance IPO

ABN sells Italian hospital group.

PPM Capital sells Upperpoint

U-POL in secondary buyout

Inode sold to Liberty Global

Advent sells Star Foods

Wendel moves in on Materis

SLS sells Carmel to 3i

Doughty Real Estate sells Havnestad Syd

Partial PPP exit for BPE

Quester exits Footfall

ECI Partners exits HCTC

Systinet sold to Mercury Interactive

Beringea and Barclays Ventures sell TMI

LDC exits Steelite

Icon Genetics acquired by Bayer

EI doubles money on Teta

Inmarsat shares sold

Lactalis buys Galbani

Bargain Booze goes to ECI

AMC first exit

ECI makes 8x return on ClarityBlue


SCM research: +ve on Euro venture

EVCA study reveals PE impact on employment

Generalist VCTs top bill

German deals soar

Israeli tech investing drops

Media boom fuelled by PE

Fund raising: another boom predicted


Quick view

Berwin promotes Blake

Noble hires

Kleinwort adds

Accentus appts

NVM hires

Celtic Pharma recruits

Quartilium hire

Pond appts

Investec recruits

Huntley leaves NT

Marsh appts

Brooks funds research project

NBGI builds

SJ Berwin Italian offices

Close Bros recruits

Palamon appts

3i expands

Barclays appts

Latham opens in Munich

GE in Germany

GMT appts

Quester recruits

Advent appts

Mezz Mgmt hires

IPES changes

Mithras recruits

UBS changes

BoS appts

Sofinnova hires

DLA Spain expands

CVC hires

Rutland promotes

Paul Hastings hires

AAMPE appts

3i recruits

Quester adds

Unigestion builds

Marsh expands

Birt joins Hands

Schwartz chairs Shelter

EI promotes

Rockpoint hires

PEP office move

Dummett leaves

Duke Street hires

Activa promotes

Adveq promotes

Apax promotes

Charlemagne recruits

STAR appts

Aberdeen Asset recruits

Phoenix hires

A&O appts

CCC recruits

Acanthus adds

Interregnum restructuring


LP Talking Head

Altius Associates

LP Corner

Private equity goes clubbing

Lisa Bushrod looks at the phenomenon of mega buyouts being conducted through syndicates of large buyout firms and asks, is it a good thing for the buyout firms’ investors?

SEC rules to lock-in hedge funds

If US hedge funds want to remain free from SEC scrutiny, they now have to impose a two-year lock-in on investors. Higher returns are the only way they will be able to encourage investors to commit, meaning private equity funds could soon find themselves competing with hedge funds on a much more regular basis. Tom Allchorne reports.

Swiss fund-of-funds continue to lead

Switzerland has been known for its banking and investment services for centuries, so it was no surprise that the country was a European pioneer in the provision of private equity fund-of-funds in the 1990s. But how are those fund-of-funds adapting to the changing demands of investors today? Patrick McCurry reports

Asset-based lending in Europe

The European asset based finance market is less than half the size of the US, the original home of asset based finance, but this is changing, not as fast as European players would like, but those in the space acknowledge they are in pole position to reap the rewards. Anthony O’Connor reports

These stories and more can be accessed by subscription with a username and password to www.evcj.com or by subscribing to the magazine version of European Venture Capital (& Private Equity) Journal.