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Barry Whyte

Fortuna, a Czech betting company, has refuted media reports that its IPO has had problems attracting investors. A Czech newspaper, Rzeczpospolita, reported that Polish pension funds, wary of controversial business such as gambling, were not investing. Fortuna is seeking 82 million euros ($114.2 million). It is owned by private equity firm Penta Investments, which is partially exiting the company.
The merger between Greece’s Aegean Airlines and rival Greek airline Olympic, which is owned by buyout firm Marfin Investment Group, has been delayed until January, pending a decision from the EU’s antitrust authorities. The merger would make the new entity the dominant force in the Greek market, with 64 aircraft and 5,580 employees.
Gulf Opportunity Fund I, the $1 billion private equity fund of asset management firm Investcorp, expects to make five or six transactions in the next two years. Investcorp is also considering the launch of another fund, according to a top executive. The Gulf Opportunity Fund has already completed five transactions worth around $500 million since it was opened in 2007.
Platinum Protection has closed a round of debt financing with Boathouse Capital, a Philadelphia-based private equity firm, but has not released any figures. Platinum is a Utah-based home security with customers in 43 states. Boathouse Capital invests mezzanine debt and equity in lower middle market companies and, to date, has deployed over $1 billion.
Waha Capital, the Abu Dhabi-based private equity firm, is working on a deal in the MENA (Middle East North Africa) region with France’s AXA Private Equity, the company said. Waha also has a $500 million MENA Infrastructure Fund, which it launched in 2006 jointly with HSBC and Dubai International Capital (DIC), which is about one-third invested, they said.
Goldman Sachs’ profits relied massively on its investment unit – of a reported net income of $1.9 billion, the principal investments unit reported net revenue of $754 million including gains of $635 million from corporate principal investments. The new Volcker Rule, however, will force Goldman to sell of some its $15.3 billion portfolio.
Standard Chartered, which is working on a number of private equity deals in the Middle East at present, plans to close one for $100 million before the end of the year, the bank said. The bank is looking at deals in oil and gas, retails, telecoms, and manufacturing, according to Reuters.
Steve Rattner, who founded private equity firm Quadrangle Group and later headed up Barack Obama’s auto task force, is resisting the proposed penalty from the SEC for his role in a pay-to-play scheme involving the $132 million state pension fund, according to the Wall Street Journal. A proposed settlement case between Rattner and the SEC was dropped from the calendar last week, unexpectedly.
Yahoo Inc, the center of much buyout speculation, has announced a disappointed quarterly sales forecast. According to reports last week, a number of private equity firms, including Silver Lake Partners, have been eyeing a buyout expected to be worth around $20 billion. Meanwhile, shares in the company were slightly up, 16 cents higher to $15.65, in extended trading despite the lackluster quarterly financial results.
Viom Networks, the Indian telecoms infrastructure company, is planning an initial public offering for the first quarter of 2011 to raise up to $1.5 billion. A fund jointly-managed by State Bank of India and Macquarie – SBI-Macquarie Infra Fund – holds an 11 percent stake in the company. Viom is a joint venture between Tata Teleservices and Quippo Telecom.

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