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Robert Venes

Candover has followed Permira and TPG Capital’s lead in shrinking the size of its fund and letting investors off previous commitments regarding uncalled capital. It is unlikely to be the last. Unlike its peers, Candover has officially signalled a shift away from larger LBOs – investments with an enterprise value of more than €500m traditionally – saying that a restructuring of the fund will also involve a “revised investment strategy, in light of both a smaller fund and the significant changes in the global economy in the last six months”. The likely translation is: Mid-market. Permira has rarely played in the mega LBO space, and while it is known to be looking at smaller deals, especially those involving already indebted businesses, a shift downwards is not expected to be on the cards.
There are three Friday the 13ths in 2009. Four if you count the remake of the 1980 video nasty. And the bodies are expected to pile up, as private equity firms and their portfolio companies face their own slasher horror nightmare. Keen-eyed calendarphiles at the Financial Times have noticed that companies bought with riskier loans are […]
HgCapital, a pan-European private equity investor, has announced the closure of its Amsterdam office and the cutting of its consumer and leisure team as part of a strategy rethink. The London-headquartered firm’s 45 investment professionals will now be organized into four enlarged sector groups: Technology media telecoms, healthcare, services and industrials, with the latter run out of the company’s Munich office.
The Guidelines Monitoring Group, set up to review private equity’s compliance with the Walker Report, published its first report this week and was broadly positive on the industry’s first attempts at transparency and self-regulation. Not that you would know it from the press reaction. The Independent claimed that “just half of the private equity firms in the UK were complying with the rules laid down in the Walker report." To repeat, not ‘half of the private equity firms in the UK that the Walker report is relevant to’ but ‘half of all private equity firms in the UK’. Dan Roberts’ business blog in The Guardian (“Private equity, public shame”) adds that “it was only a small fraction of the private equity industry that agreed to sign up to these watered down guidelines in the first place”. As reported by sister title, IFR Buyouts Europe, what the report actually meant was
Foxtons, a London estate agent owned by global private equity firm BC Partners, has breached its banking covenants. Andrew Newington, a partner at BC Partners, told a press briefing that Foxtons breached performance terms set by lenders in BC Partners’ reportedly £400m buyout of the upmarket London estate agency in May 2007, Bank of America and Japan’s Mizuho. “As housing markets fall, so do estate agents, so we got that wrong. In hindsight, we made the wrong assessment of the market.” The fate of the business is now believed to be in the hands of the banks, with BC Partners reportedly refusing to inject further cash until some
Royal Bank of Scotland is understood to be considering selling its 4.3% stake in Bank of China following chief executive Stephen Hester’s visit to Beijing this week. Hester, who replaced Fred Goodwin after the bank was rescued by the UK government last October and a former chief of British Land, reportedly met with Bank of […]
TDX Group, a UK debt collection advisor, has sold a 40% stake to Bahrain-based investment group Investcorp for £28m (US$42m). Nottinghamshire-based TDX was founded five years ago by executives at Capital One, HSBC and GE. Working with creditors, purchasers and collection agencies, TDX provides data including sale market pricing, bid data, segment and account level […]
EMP Global, a US-based emerging markets investor, has hired Chung Min Pang and Samir Soota as managing directors. Chung Min Pang will head up investments in the Greater China region, in which EMP invests through EMP Daiwa Capital Asia, a joint venture with Daiwa Securities Group formed in early 2007. He was previously China country […]
As the economic downturn continues to bite and private equity chiefs increasingly shift talks from the now to their hopes for activity in the second half of 2009 and even 2010, operational staff may be amongst the few not looking over their shoulder for impending job cuts. Private equity’s boom years of 2005 to 2007 […]
European buyout chiefs will be looking to US policies on taxation and regulation adopted by President-elect Barack Obama when he begins his term of office at the beginning of next year, with a view to how it might impact on European domestic issues. “The danger is that kneejerk support for regulation and a tendency towards protectionism, which has been a feature of the US election, will gain traction internationally regardless of who is elected,” said Simon Walker, chief executive officer of the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, shortly before confirmation of Obama’s landslide win was announced. “It would not be right that the private equity industry in the UK, which has adopted a programme of self-regulation, gets swept up in this sentiment and becomes subject to a punitive tax

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