In brief

Dunedin Capital Partners, the UK mid-market private equity house, has concluded the acquisition of Sand Aire Private Equity. As a result of the acquisition, Dunedin’s funds under management have risen to £300m, with more than £100m available for UK mid-market buyouts. Following the acquisition, Shaun Middleton has been appointed managing director for new investment and Brian Scouler managing director for portfolio management. The new investment team consists of nine executives. Dunedin now has 26 investments in its combined portfolio, with a total value of £170m. The acquisition of one private equity house by another is rare, although consolidation in the private equity industry has been expected for some time.

  • Societe Generale has sold its last private equity investment in Central and Eastern Europe but is hoping to use the successful deal to kick-start a €150m (US$174.8m) fundraising target. SocGen’s asset management arm has generated a 2x return on undisclosed numbers from the completed sale of Microlink to the three Baltic telecommunication operators. Microlink is one of the largest IT service providers in the Baltic states and agreed to be sold to Lattelekom, Latvia’s largest fixed-line telecommunications company, Elion, an offshoot of Estonia’s Eesti Telekom, and Lithuania’s Lietuvos Telekomas. The deal concludes the exits from the investments of SocGen’s two funds in Central and Eastern Europe, which had invested and managed US$140m in around 50 companies for more than 10 years.
  • Advent International is preparing to float Switzerland-based Dufry Group, which operates duty-free shops around the world, having narrowly failed to buy Spanish trade rival Aldeasa. Credit Suisse First Boston as bookrunner has started pre-marketing the IPO of Dufry, and the listing will raise SFr300m–SFr350m for one-third of the company. Advent owns 64% of Dufry, with Grupo Areas, a Spain-based travel services company, and private investors holding the remainder. The leveraged buyout in March 2004 cost a reported €131m.
  • General Atlantic announced that Raul Rai has joined the firm as a principal based in the Mumbai, India, office. This appointment reflects General Atlantic’s continuing commitment to build and expand its global team of nearly 70 investment professionals, and its strong view of continued opportunities in India, where it has invested nearly US$500m. Prior to joining General Atlantic, Rai had been managing director and global co-head of software technology investment banking at UBS. From 1996 to 2000, he was with Goldman Sachs in New York and London. General Atlantic manages approximately US$10bn, investing between US$800m and US$1bn per year in growth, recapitalisation and buyout opportunities worldwide.