How To Lie with Statistics

The London newspapers this morning rang the death knell for UK private equity, based on a new report from the Centre for Management Buy-out Research (CMBOR). CMBOR, backed by Barclays Private Equity and Deloitte, has been very cleverly courting headlines with dramatic figures showing that the value of the buyout market has dropped from £24.5 […]

Indian Summer

One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten. In the time it took you to read that, five people were born in India, according to the population clock at the Union Health Ministry in New Delhi which ticks away at 31 persons per minute. These babies were not born into the agricultural poverty […]

The Prince, the SWF and Cod

The titles were out in full swing today as I had lunch with the ambassadors of: Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Iran, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Syria, Yemen, Malaysia, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Singapore. There was also a Crown Prince, a Baroness, and every other person I met seemed to be a Lord or at […]

Checking In From Dubai

Wow… what a difference two years makes. I arrived in Dubai last night to find that the dust and cranes I saw in 2006 have now tranformed into a city. And not just a city — but a confident and large one. So confident, in fact, that construction on tallest building in the world is soon due for completion, […]

Guy Hands and True Values

The great weather in Munich has given way to the typical cold and cloud of Northern Europe. And the mid-market players have given way to the mega funds. Guy Hands of Terra Firma lectured on returning to the true values of private equity in the current financial market. Such platitudes are often batted around at conferences, but […]

Storm Clouds in Sunny Munich

The great and the good of the private equity industry have gathered in sunny Munich for SuperReturn 2008. David Rubenstein, Thomas H. Lee and Guy Hands are in attendance. Despite the pleasant weather, a dark cloud hangs over most of the conversations as the debt crisis plaguing America makes itself felt across European capitals. Rod […]

Self-Promotion Alert

I will be on CNBC Europe’s Squawk Box program tomorrow morning at 7:30am GMT. We’ll be discussing Thomson Financial’s Mergers & Acquisition Snapshot for July 2007, and how the debt crisis will affect LBOs.  

Henry Jackson: Re-Potted

I was so very well behaved at lunch today I should  be given a gold star, only one small glass of white wine to wash down oysters and sole. I was treated to this lovely meal by Henry Jackson, the brains behind the one and a half year old, mid-market buyout house Merchant Equity Partners. […]


Bulgarian VC Backs Travel Startup

New Europe Venture Equity, Bulgaria’s first VC firm, has its first portfolio company:, a new discount travel site. The startup raised €3 million in Series A funding, which it will use for product development, staffing and marketing. was founded in New York City last year, and has since grown to 35 employees and […]

Drivel and Debt

That illustrious organ The Economist has a cracking cover this week with a man reading his blackberry at the pinnacle of a mountain totally unaware that he is about to step off into the abyss and the tagline reads: ‘The trouble with private equity’. The story behind the headline is a disappointing rehash of the […]

Brown lures private equity’s big fish

The Labour party may have a new Prime Minister in the brainiac Gordon Brown but do they have the money to fight an election campaign? Labour’s coffers are at cripplingly low levels as a consequence of Lord Levy’s cash for peerages debacle. So Brown will need to move quickly to appoint a fundraising member of […]

Rock up to the Kasbah for deals

As the UK has been suffering under the annual deluge of rain which accompanies the Wimbledon tennis tournament, I slipped away for a sunny weekend in Marrakech. While Dan is spending his time battling faux rabid lobsters, I was battling very real snake charmers armed with Cobras which were wrapped around the necks of unsuspecting […]

It seems no one wants a New Look

In this age of disposable fashion, the UK has three major shops that keep those on a limited budget on trend: H&M, Primark and New Look. Despite a huge increase in column inches in the fashion press it seems no one wants to meet the £2bn price tag that Apax and Permira have put on […]


Treasury Takeaways

Yesterday I spent three and a half hours in The Treasury Select Committee listening to Union Leaders and then Dominic Murphy of KKR, Philip Yea of 3i, Damon Buffini of Premira and Robert Easton of the Carlyle group give evidence. David Blitzer of Blackstone was also called before the Committee but sent a letter in […]


Defending the Indefensible: Permira, KKR, 3i, Carlyle and Blackstone

Today I will be reporting live-ish from the Treasury Select Committee, part of the UK parliament, as Damon Buffini, managing partner of Premira, Dominic Murphy, partner at KKR, Philip Yea, chief executive of 3i, Robert Easton, managing director of the Carlyle Group and David Blitzer, senior managing partner of Blackstone attempt to defend what the […]


ABN Amro in a Flap over Barclays ‘Nazi’ Eagle

Barclays Bank has decided to drop the eagle logo that it has used for 317 years in order to appease its merger partner ABN Amro which has concerns that the logo has Nazi connotations. “It is a rather Teutonic looking eagle,” said one insider. This isn’t strictly a private equity story, but it does highlight […]


Takeover Target

The summer season is well under way in England, and today is the opening day of Ascot. But instead of skiving off to the track like most of the British chattering classes – I’m here blogging for you. But that doesn’t mean I can’t have a flutter. One of the big stakes races today is […]


Peter Linthwaite: The Industry’s Friend & Mine

Peter Linthwaite has asked to stand down as chief executive of the BVCA – The British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association – with immediate effect. Former BVCA chief executive John Mackie will return to the BVCA as a part-time consultant to help during the transitional period until the appointment of a new chief executive. […]