New York, New York for BC Partners and Cinven

BC Partners and Cinven, two Europe-focused buyout firms, are planning strategies to launch into the US market. Raymond Svider, a London-based managing partner at BC Partners, as well as three partners from the UK and Germany will join investor relations managing partner Kevin O’Donohue, sole representative in BC Partners’ New York office, which was launched in 2001.

BC Partners made its first US investment last June, buying Intelsat in a deal valuing the commercial satellite operator at about US$5bn. According to reports, BC Partners plans to invest some US$1bn a year in the US, targeting global companies. Svider told the Financial Times that the strategy was in line with the emergence of global firms and that a move into Asia was likely to follow.

Cinven, which currently has offices in London, Frankfurt, Milan and Paris, is planning to add New York and Hong Kong to that list in the second half of this year. Robin Hall, managing partner, said the move was a “natural step” despite maintaining a European-centric focus, as a number of its portfolio companies had operations and sales in the US, which also houses a large percentage of Cinven’s limited partners.

Cinven has invested in a new country market every year for much of this century: Sweden in 2001; Germany in 2002; Belgium in 2004; Spain in 2005; Italy and Sweden, with the Milan office opened the same year, in 2006.

BC Partners and Cinven join a number of European buyout firms to launch US operations recently. Permira opened a New York office in 2002 and has since devoted about 12% of its capital to US investments. CVC Capital Partners hired former Investcorp private equity head Christopher Stadler for its new office in New York in January last year, the same month that 3i set up shop in the city for growth capital investments.