News in Brief

German investors increase allocation

German institutional investors are increasing their allocation to private equity with the asset class now accounting for 2% of total investments, according to a survey conducted by Adveq, the Swiss private equity fund of funds investment manager.

These findings mean German investors have doubled their allocation in less than three years and are well on course to meet their 2.2% target over the next three years. The most popular form of investing is through fund-of-funds, with 51% of investors choosing this route. Fund investments make up 41%, with direct investments only 8%.

BA Capital team becomes Argan

BA Capital Partners Europe, the private equity division of Bank of America responsible for investments in Europe, has spun-out and renamed itself Argan Capital. It is a 12 strong team led by three managing partners: Wojciech Goc, Carlo Mammola and Lloyd Perry.

It recently closed its first independent fund on €425m, drawn from 36 investors from North America and Europe. Bank of America is a minority investor in the fund.The firm will continue the same investment strategy, namely pursuing mid-market opportunities in the industrial, services and consumer sectors. It has offices in London, Paris, Milan and Warsaw.

This year the firm has invested in Paroc of Finland and Alfatherm in Italy.

HarbourVest leads portfolio purchase

HarbourVest has led an investor group that has purchased interests in all 96 direct investments made so far by US firm American Capital. The consortium, called American Capital Equity I, also includes Lexington Partners and Partners Group and paid US$670m, along with a further US$330m for future investments made by American Capital.

The news comes hot on the heels of Partners acquisition of 11 mezzanine investments, two second lien loans and two direct equity investments in companies like the AA, BSN Medical, Kabel, Medica France, Stahl Holdings, Tommy Hilfiger and UPC