Last word

The number of private equity firms left in the circa €400m auction of Amadeus has dwindled to four. Around nine firms had been circling the global distribution system and technology provider for the airline industry. Carlyle, BC Partners, Cinven and CVC are left in the running.

Amadeus, which is listed, is being sold by Air France and Iberia. Revenue in 2003 was €1.93bn and Ebitda was €532.5m. The company was founded in 1987 by Air France, Lufthansa, Iberia and SAS.

Roderick Munsters, chief investment officer of Dutch pension fund PGGM, is to succeed Jean Frijns as chairman of ABP Investments. He is also appointed as a member of ABP’s board of directors, and will take up his new job in early 2005.

Hans Alders, chairman of PGGM’s board of governors, acknowledged him as the architect of PGGM’s investment policy and an advocate of corporate governance and sustainable investment.

Munsters said: “Opportunities like this don’t come every day. ABP is one of the biggest pension funds in the world.” He has been executive director and chief investment officer at PGGM since 1997.

US venture-backed M&A activity remained stable in the third quarter of 2004, according to Thomson Venture Economics and the US-based National Venture Capital Association. In total, 83 companies were acquired. Forty-three disclosed a combined value of US$3.92bn, and the average deal valuation was US$91.2m for the quarter. While the average valuation was around 3% lower than the second quarter, it was 44% higher than in Q3 2003.

The UK Government’s review of Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) re-invigorated the sector, according to a seminar hosted by SJ Berwin and PricewaterhouseCoopers in London. It was predicted that £400m would be raised by VCTs in this financial year, while a number of new managers have been attracted to the sector. Around 60% of the money raised will go to private companies, and the remainder to companies quoted on AIM, the UK’s second-tier stock market. In each case there are limits on investments in any one company to ensure policy objectives are met.