AXA Private Equity closed its AXA LBO Fund III at €500m just three months after launch. The fund will invest in middle-market transactions across Europe. AXA said commitments from French investors had fallen to 27%, down from 56% in the AXA LBO Fund II. Commitments from UK and Swiss investors made up for the shortfall, rising from 9% to 18% in the case of the UK and from 9% to 17% from Swiss investors. The AXA Secondary Fund III closed at US$1bn last year, up from a target of US$800m.
- FTSE 100 private equity firm 3i is moving to premises in Victoria and quitting its Waterloo headquarters after more than 30 years. The firm will take up space in the new Land Securities development at Cardinal Place. All-London based staff will be affected by the move.
- Kelvin MacKenzie, former editor of The Sun, the UK tabloid newspaper, is taking private The Wireless Group, his £77m speech-only radio broadcast company, to compete against the BBC. TWG’s independent directors confirmed that chairman and CEO MacKenzie had made an offer to buy the company. The two major shareholders in the company, Liberty Media Corporation (holding 28.73%) and News Corporation (26.39%) are backing the bid. MacKenzie’s bid is being financed by Veronis Suhler Stevenson, a US private equity investor specialised in media.
- Stephen Walters joined international law firm LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae as a partner in its Paris office. Previously, Walters was managing partner in the Paris office of Simmons & Simmons. Walters specialises in cross-border mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, joint ventures, equity financing and other international transactional work for corporate clients, investment funds and financial institutions.