July Issue 2005

News analysis

A poor workman blames his tools

There was much grumbling by the venture capital GPs attending the European Venture Capital & Private Equity Association’s (EVCA) annual symposium in London mid June that the conference appeared to be all about buyouts. It wasn’t, and maybe it’s just the buyouts’ turn; after all, no one wanted to talk that much about buyouts during the annual symposiums in 1999 to 2001 when it seemed to be venture or nothing. Lisa Bushrod reports.

Record-time fund raisings: real or illusory?

European buyout firms, generally, are having a good time in the fund raising market of late. This is evidenced not just by a healthy investor appetite to commit, but the record time, as little as three, four and five months have been stated, that many of these funds appear to have been raised in. But is this race to the finishing post a reality or illusion? The answer is, probably a bit of both.

The risks of early cash withdrawal

With so many LBO transactions taking place over the last 18 months, the number of private equity funds looking for some early cash on their investment has significantly increased, and Standard & Poor’s are starting to worry.

Dual-tracks: the pros and cons

The IPO boom at the end of the 1990s was a good time for brokers. Not only did they get to handle flotations but they also managed to convince senior company managers to pay them more for a new product: the dual-track IPO and trade sale. Dual-tracks in some shape or form have actually been around since the 1980s. Back in those days it was the job of the adviser to get the best price, to play the equities market and trade buyers off each other and to see who would stump up the most money.

The end of the captive?

In recent months both JP Morgan Partners and ISIS Equity Partners have announced plans to become independent of their parent companies. The news is another blow to the concept of in-house private equity operations and follows the trend of recent years for such captives to break free from their owners.

Secondary buyouts: the new stock market?

The total exit value for secondary buyouts in the UK reached a new high in 2004 at over £7.1bn, confirming their status as an irremovable feature of the private equity market as cash-rich private equity houses look to invest their money and others seek to liquidate investments.

News highlights

Pensions invest US$17bn in PE

Botts Capital Partners changes management

Murray VCTs shareholder revolt

Martin Currie FoF team moves to F&C

Investors want more protection

EVCA activity figures for 2004

CapMan targets real estate

Long term PE performance stable

EVCA launches corporate governance guidelines

Pharma: consolidation continues

Investors want more protection

EVCA activity figures for 2004

New EVCA chairman

Seed through early stage

Fund news

Lead story

German institutions favour mezz

Munich-based fund groups Golding Capital Partners and VCM have completed the final closing of the first European fund-of-funds dedicated to mezzanine. The fund, called VCM Golding Mezzanine, has closed at €200m, above its original €150m target and after just over 12 months of fund raising. The vehicle is the first of its kind to offer European investors access to a diversified portfolio of mezzanine transactions throughout Europe and the US. Angela Sormani reports.

Egeria holds €358m interim closing

Life Sciences Partners III first close at €65m

Synergo SGR targets Italian entrepreneurs

CapMan targets real estate

Pomona closes FoF

HSBC vehicle close

Herald closes second fund

Exit news

Lead story

Inmarsat IPO goes into orbit

Inmarsat Group, the satellite company owned by Apax and Permira, has raised £355m following its IPO on the London Stock Exchange, slightly less than the £380m it hoped to raise when the intention to float was announced in early June. Neither Apax nor Permira have sold shares in the listing as they are subject to a six-month lock-in. Tom Allchorne reports.

3i sells RedDot

First exit for BCV and YFM

Third German exit for HgCapital

LBO France acquires Actaris

Doughty has appetite for RHM IPO

Saft to float on Eurolist

3i sells NNC

Advent & Providence sell MACH to Warburg Pincus

HgCapital sells Tunstall to Bridgepoint

Net Mobile IPO offers exit to Wellington & Grunwald

3i exits Newell & Budge

Reiten and CapMan exit EPI

Prostraken IPOs below original target

Wagamama in £102.5m secondary buyout

Mersey TV sold to ALL3MEDIA

KKR sells stake in Kingston Communications

Barclays Ventures exits System C Healthcare

Inmarsat IPO goes into orbit


Family business buyouts

Numerous family-owned company founders in Europe are now approaching retirement age and having to confront succession and change of ownership issues. All too often, however, founders are failing to find suitable or willing family members to take over the company reins. Joanna Hickey reports.


EVCA activity figures for 2004

Long-term Euro PE performance stable


ABN AMRO Capital cycles for charity

New AFIC chairman

New EVCA chairman

Debevoise promotion

Enterprise PE appts

Amadeus appts director

DN Capital hires Gogel

Strathdon promotes

Double appt for GE

New directors for GIMV

ISIS to open in Leeds

Kleinwort appts

Triago hires

Rutland appts

Nordic names adviser

Corbett Keeling appts

New faces at Edmond de Rothschild

Sovereign appts 2

Linklaters expands Madrid office

3i hires director

Mourant appoints

DEWB reshuffle

AngelBourse appts 4

Nexit recruit 2

BC Partners hires 2

SEP appts

Global Private Equity appts

Helix moves office

Inflexion hires

New Duke Street op partner


Taking a view: ALPHA Associates

Petra Salesny and Richard Seewald of ALPHA Associates talk to EVCJ about the firm’s strategy and plans for the future.

Good news for private equity fund raising?

UK pension funds have been acting on the last few years of underperformance in their listed equity portfolios. If the increase in the business fortunes of index tracking managers (see table 1), such as Legal & General Investment Management and Barclays Global Investors is anything to go by, the trend appears to be away from active management. Lisa Bushrod reports.

Ireland: growing up

Ireland’s VC community has benefited from continued financial support from its Government, but the time has come to prove itself in the private sector in the next round of VC fund raisings. The Enterprise Ireland scheme was originally set up to close the equity gap, funding fledgling companies to create a robust VC industry in Ireland. Many VCs believe this equity gap is now closed and are welcoming the prospect of increased funding from domestic and international institutions for the next stage in Ireland’s VC development and to set the scene for the nascent buyout market. The Irish-focused LP, however, is still hard to come by. Angela Sormani reports.

Spain: grabbing headlines

Advent International hired two local executives from Dresdner Kleinwort Capital to set up operations in Spain and soon after made a E173m offer for Madrid-listed amusement parks operator Parques Reunidos. The deal closed in 2004, making it Spain’s first private equity-backed take-private. Since then, more international names, such as BC Partners, Carlyle and KKR, have been roaming the market and leading some deals that have hit the headlines. Among these are the KKR-led E12.5bn offer for Auna, the Spanish telecommunications group, and the €4bn-plus BC Partners and Cinven-led offer for Spanish IT travel business, Amadeus. Katherine Steiner-Dicks reports.

Venture Finance in Europe

While European venture financiers have been booking business over the last few years, it is really only in the last nine months or so that a kind of renaissance has taken place for European venture finance with new entrants and newly raised funds ready to invest. Anthony O’Connor reports.

Spanish legal & reg update

In the past six months the Spanish private equity market has been thrust into the limelight for unearthing some of the largest transactions in Europe’s deal history. With private equity deals such as the mega E12bn bid for Spanish telecommunications group, Auna and BC Partners and Cinven’s E4bn-plus buyout of IT travel business Amadeus, Spain’s legal practitioners have been hard at work putting newly established reforms into practice. Katherine Steiner-Dicks 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.