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Robert Venes

Ian Cash, who heads up Alchemy Partners’ new £250 million distressed debt vehicle, Alchemy Special Opportunities, talks to Robert Venes about the fund’s focus and the future of distressed debt in Europe.
The Paris-listed private equity manager invested €1.165 billion in buyouts in the year to 30 June 2006, including its acquisition of Europcar from Volkswagen.
The ratings agency has downgraded £100m of mezzanine loans for Focus, a do-it-yourself retailer owned by Duke Street Capital and Apax Partners, over the increased possibility of a default.
Higher levels of debt in private equity buyouts in Europe has increased risks for financial institutions warns a report from De Nederlandsche Bank, the Dutch central bank.
The European affiliate of buyout and mezzanine firm American Capital Strategies has increased its revolving credit facility to €900m, giving the company approximately €1.65bn in firepower.
Charterhouse is set to return £500 million to shareholders with a refinancing carried out by Merrill Lynch less than two years after acquiring the over-50s insurance and leisure group.
The level of debt being placed on private equity-backed companies through recapitalisations could undermine their credit ratings, says a new report.
European Capital, part of the US private equity firm American Capital, has invested €123m in the buyout of Avery Weigh-Tronix and €126m in the buyout of Farrow & Ball, the first two deals for its UK office, which opened last August.
Archie Norman, former grocer, politician and corporate turnaround specialist, set up a new investment company, Aurigo Management, last month. Robert Venes speaks to Norman about his latest venture.
Blackstone and KKR are understood to be pursuing an interest in two retail units owned by GUS, despite a recent announcement by the UK retail group to demerge the businesses.

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