Marlin, Seeing More Euro Deals, Eyes U.K. Office

  • Specialist in struggling companies
  • Continent’s deleveraging is an opportunity
  • Shopping for space in London

The Hermosa Beach, Calif.-based shop, known for investing in struggling or challenged companies, is contemplating the expansion because it’s seeing more opportunities in Europe, said Spasov, who first mentioned it on a panel at the PartnerConnect conference on April 5.

“Given the distress and de-leveraging that’s happening in Europe, it’s something we have to keep our eyes on,” Spasov said in a follow-up phone call. “We think, given that we’re seeing more deals, we’d like to execute on more of them.”

Firm executives are currently evaluating office space and the registration procedures with the Financial Services Authority, the financial regulator in the U.K. Marlin Equity already has an operating partner based in London: Shawn McMorran, who focuses on technology deals.

Founded in 2005, Marlin Equity targets businesses “undergoing varying degrees of operational, financial or market-driven change,” typically with $20 million to $1 billion in revenue in several sectors, including technology, health care and consumer, according to its Web site. The firm is investing out of its third fund, a $650 million vehicle it closed in December 2009, and it manages a total of more than $1 billion.

Spasov noted that Marlin Equity already has been doing a deals in Europe. In 2010, it bought Hospedia Ltd, a U.K.-based health care company that offers bedside computer systems for medical staff and bedside entertainment systems for patients. And last year, former portfolio company Emptoris Inc. bought Xcitec GmbH, a Munich, Germany-based developer of supplier management software.