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TD Capital Comms Partners in London

TD Capital Communications Partners, the US communications venture capital investors, has signaled its presence in Europe with the opening of a London office. Jose Brena and Douglas Rediker, both US nationals who have each spent around ten years working in Europe, are heading that effort along with Kristen Rosenbaum who has joined from the New York office. Brena and Rediker both hold the title of managing director.

So far the team, which also includes Mark Kelly from Merrill Lynch Private Equity, and will be bolstered by two associates (the final pieces in a six month long recruitment drive since Brena and Rediker signed up), has completed three deals. These are funded from Toronto Dominion’s balance sheet since at present TD Capital Communications Partners is fully captive, although Brena notes that the eventual plan is to raise third party funds. This may be one or two years down the line.

For the time being Toronto Dominion has committed $500 million to TD Capital Communications Partners over the next couple of years and the new London office expects to be able to invest around euro200 million of that figure.

Rediker notes that typical deal size will fall between euro10 million and euro60 million. However, the minimum figure can reduce if there will be an opportunity to invest in subsequent fund raising tranches ideally taking the total invested to over euro20 million.

Of the three deals to date Goyada is just euro2 million, where TD Capital Communications Partners invested as part of a syndicate of investors that put a total of euro13 million into the business. The business in question is a Swedish wireless marketing enabler based around a SMS platform. The accelerator Speed Ventures first supported Goyada. Nomura, Broadband, BG MEDIA and Internet Ventures joined TD Capital Communications Partners in this round.

The second investment was strategic. TD Capital Communications Partners invested GBP5 million into Amadeus Capital Partners second fund raised last year. This, points out Brena who is familiar with some of the Amadeus team from their pre-Amadeus days, will allow TD Capital Communications Partners access to Amadeus’ deal flow and knowledge base as well as providing for co-investment opportunities. Likewise Brena hopes that Amadeus will share in his firm’s deal flow by co-investing.

The third deal is a co-investment on a GBP80 million deal with Soros and Madison Dearborn Partners. The company is Oncue, set up early last year as a DSL service provider.

The management team came out of Norweb Telecom from which they had wanted to do a management buyout but Norweb had turned them down.

Brena previously led GE Capital’s private equity efforts in the European telecom sector and Rediker was previously at Lehman Brothers, where his primary focus was wireless communications.