Hungarian MBO/MBI club launches

A year on from the launch of its MBO network in Poland, Dresdner Kleinwort Capital is replicating the model in Hungary as it strengthens its presence in the Central European region.

The MBI & MBO Club is being managed with Pedersen & Partners, a headhunting firm dedicated to the recruitment of top and middle managers in Central and Eastern Europe. The club is modelled on a similar networking idea used by DrKC in the UK and will target senior managers and CEOs from Hungarian businesses that hope to be successful MBO/MBI candidates in the future.

Janusz Heath, managing director of DrKC’s private equity team in Central and Eastern Europe, said: “MBOs/MBIs are already an established way of selling and buying companies in Western Europe and are starting to be seen in Central Europe. The aim of this club is to help entrepreneurs with the skills and knowledge they will require to be successful in the MBO/MBI process.”

He added that the club has already proved successful in Poland and the firm will also launch a similar network in the Czech Republic later in the year.

The network will meet three times a year to discuss issues relating to MBOs and MBIs. Legal questions, taxation, valuation and pricing issues and corporate re-engineering theories will be among the topics covered. Poul Pedersen, founder and partner of Pedersen & Partners, said: “For the managers, the club is a win-win. It does not cost anything to become a member and completing a deal can fulfil the dream of a lifetime.”

DrKC is currently investing its $225 million Emerging Europe fund. The fund invests between $3 million and $25 million in companies in Central and Eastern Europe. It focuses on telecommunications, media, IT/technology, healthcare services, branded consumer products, distribution, retailing and specialist engineering sectors.

In Hungary a total of EURO22 million was invested in buyouts in 2000, according to the European Venture Capital Association. Total funds raised in 2000 reached EURO81 million of which EURO12 million (15 per cent) was allocated to buyouts.