Deals & Exits
Dutch private equity house NIB Capital is in exclusive negotiations with Ted Virtue, the New York based chief executive of DB Capital Partners, and Graham Clempson, the unit's European managing partner, to buy Deutsche Bank's €1.5bn late stage direct private equity portfolio.
The assets in question include Center Parcs, the leisure concern bought out in December 2000 for €1.1bn, and United Biscuits. In addition, Deutsche and the DB Capital team are discussing the sale of other direct private equity assets with a book value in excess of a further €1.5bn.
According to a source: “The easy part is buying the team out. The issue is the financing to take the assets off Deutsche's balance sheet. The management team will continue to manage the portfolio while finding deep-pocketed investors to take over Deutsche's investment, in a secondary purchase of the assets.”
A buyout of the management team and the portfolio is believed to be the most attractive option for the bank for a number of reasons. The bank is understood to have looked for outright buyers, but had concluded that the complexities involved outweighed any advantages in a quick sale.
Permira completes successful Homebase sale
European private equity house Permira has made a speedy return on its £750m acquisition of UK DIY retailer Homebase last year, selling the business to UK retail group GUS for around £900m.
The business, acquired by Permira (formerly Schroder Ventures) from J Sainsbury in March 2001, has enjoyed steady growth since then, achieving a three-fold increase in operating profit from £26m last year to just under £86m in the year to February 2002.
Homebase's strong results enabled Permira to make an ahead-of-schedule repayment of £240m to investors in April this year, including J Sainsbury, which retained a 17 per cent stake in the business, and Schroder Ventures International Investment Trust Plc (SVIIT), which will have received proceeds of approximately £109m from its investment against a total commitment of £20m. Sainsbury receives a further £139m from the sale, taking its total proceeds on Homebase beyond the £1bn mark. Homebase will become part of the Argos Retail Group (ARG), a UK multi-brand high street retailer.
Charles Sherwood, who led the deal for Permira, described the transaction as a “great deal for all concerned”, saying GUS was acquiring a “strong, highlyperforming business.
Big deals boost performance data
European private equity investment increased by 24 per cent in the third quarter, boosted by an array of large multinational disposals across the continent, according to the latest figures published by EVCA Quarterly Activity Indicator, in conjunction with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Venture Economics. A total of €6.3bn of private equity was invested in 1,055 companies in the three months to September 30, against €5.1bn invested in the previous quarter, the survey said. €4.3bn was invested in buyout stage companies, almost 70 per cent of the total. Expansion investment accounted for €1.3bn in Q3, 21.3 per cent of the overall total. Fundraising, meanwhile, was at €3.5bn, up 72 per cent from the previous quarter.
Veronis Suhler, 3i close Telemedia deal
UK private equity firm 3i has teamed with New York-based media merchant bank Veronis Suhler Stevenson in an agreement to acquire TeleMedia, the directories unit of Dutch telecommunications company Royal KPN for €500m. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Because of our expertise and dedication to the media industry, we are convinced that 3i and Veronis Suhler Stevenson are the qualified partners to enable TeleMedia to further strengthen and grow its already successful performance,” Chris Graham, director and head of media at 3i, said in a statement.
This is the second time this year the firms have teamed up on a European directories acquisition. In May, the firms acquired Fonecta Group, a Finnish directory services provider.
HG Capital buys German clutch maker
Private equity firm Hg Capital has agreed to acquire the FTE brake and clutch product division of US-based auto parts manufacturer Dana Corp. Debt financing was arranged by Barclays Capital.
This is Dana Corp's second asset sale to a private equity firm in the past month. Last month, the company sold four divisions to The Riverside Company. The deal is Hg Capital's fourth investment in Germany since it opened the Frankfurt office in 1999.
Mourant expands into Guernsey
Mourant, the Jersey-based legal and specialist administration provider, has acquired fund administrator Redbridge Offshore based in Guernsey. Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed.
Redbridge will operate as part of Mourant's International Finance Administration division, which has around $14bn of assets under administration. The move is the latest in a list of purchases made by Mourant in the past couple of years, including the acquisition of William M Mercer's UK-based share plan administration business in 2001.
Apax buys into Focus Wickes
European buyout firm Duke Street Capital [DSC] has responded to the disappearance of the IPO market with a recapitalisation of UK DIY retailer Focus Wickes that will enable DSC to return over £300m to investors. Apax Partners is paying £340m for a 28.9 per cent stake in the firm, valuing the entire business at just over £1.175bn, as Duke Street realises part of its investment in the DIY retailer in which it originally invested 15 years ago. Focus Wickes' bankers ING Bank and Goldman Sachs, which co-ordinated the aborted £1.2bn public offering in July, as well as Bank of Scotland, have been appointed to arrange €1.05bn of new debt facilities for the business. As part of the transaction, Focus Wickes will repay its £125m 11 per cent senior notes due 2010, together with its £45m 13 per cent redeemable senior notes due 2010, via a cash tender offer and solicitation of consents.
Candover backs €625m Ontex buyout
European buyout house Candover has reached an agreement with founder and majority shareholder, the Van Malderen family, to acquire its near 78 per cent stake in Belgium manufacturer Ontex, paying a significant premium to the Ontex share price prior to talks about a sale being announced in October. Candover will initially pay €87 per share to the controlling family, a price which will increase to €92 per share if the subsequent public offer to other shareholders gives the firm 95 per cent or more of Ontex stock.
Welzorg private equitybacked for third time
Swedish private equity firm Industri Kapital has acquired Welzorg, the former state-owned manufacturer and distributor of mobility aids, providing an exit for UBS Capital. The price for the business has not been disclosed, although it is thought to be above the €150m UBS Capital paid for the business in June 2000. In the two years since, Welzorg has increased turnover by 20 per cent to €143m.
The transaction marks the third occasion on which Welzorg has come under private equity ownership since it was privatised by the Dutch government in 1995. UBS Capital acquired the business from a consortium comprising Holland-based private equity firms Parcom Ventures, Alpinvest and Residentie Participaties.
Industri Kapital director Gustav Öhman, who led the deal, said the firm would not rule out the possibility of making any bolt-on acquisitions: “Welzorg is an attractive and profitable growth company. We're planning to grow the business in Holland and to expand into neighbouring markets. An acquisition is a possibility, but there are no specific plans as yet.”
Industri Kapital is in the process of arranging debt financing for the transaction. The deal, subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close before the end of 2002.
Trio acquire Electrim cable assets
A consortium including US private equity house Hicks Muse Tate & Furst, Argus Capital Partners, a division of Prudential-owned PRICOA Capital Group, and Emerging Markets Partnership (EMP) has completed the €110m purchase of the cable activities of Elektrim Telekomunikacja (ET), the Polish telecommunications company owned by Polish conglomerate Elektrim and Vivendi Universal.
A total of five bidding consortia were involved in the auction process, commenced last year, which was reduced to a final group of three. The final three were Advent International, a group comprising Enterprise Investors, AIG and Innova Capital, and the Hicks Muse, Argus, EMP consortium.
The acquisition is likely to be the first step in a broader consolidation of the Central and Eastern European telecoms market. “We could potentially see a situation in which we would merge our Hungarian assets with those of Elektrim Telekomunikacja as well as EMP's cable TV assets in the Czech Republic,” said Ali Artunkal, managing director at Argus Capital.
Rutland sells retailer to management
Rutland Fund Management has agreed to sell Edinburgh Woollen Mill to management in a secondary buyout led by Philip Day, the retailer's chief executive. The £68m transaction is being backed by Bank of Scotland Integrated Finance, which is providing a debt and equity funding package worth £82.6m including working capital.
The financing comprises a senior debt tranche, a mezzanine piece and a subordinated loan. Rutland bought the retailer in July 2001 for £49m and brought in new management. Earlier this year Rutland took £12.3m out of the business as a part repayment of its investment.
Enterprise Investors completes Grupa Kety exit
Enterprise Investors (EI), the Warsaw-based private equity house, and CSFB Central European Merchant Partners have exited Grupa K^ty, the Polish aluminiumextruded goods and packaging materials producer in a transaction that generated proceeds of $17.5m for EI. The transaction sees an undisclosed group of Polish and foreign financial institutions pay just under $30m for the remaining stake in K^ty. It is also the largest single secondary trade in the history of the Warsaw Stock Exchange.
The firm originally paid $13m for a 19 per cent stake and roughly doubled the investment, made as part of a consortium of private equity firms in 1995 which acquired a 40 per cent stake from the Polish State Treasury.
BC Partners in healthcare buy and build
European buyout firm BC Partners has broadened its activity in the European private healthcare sector with the acquisition of Swiss private healthcare group Hirslanden for SFr930m (€640m).
Hirslanden, which has been controlled by Swiss banking group UBS since 1990, operates twelve acute-care clinics across Switzerland. BC Partners plans to expand the group's operations in Europe, merging it with portfolio business General Healthcare Group (GHG).
BC Partners paid £1.29bn (€2bn) to acquire GHG in 2000 in a deal funded in part by a £975m high yield bond launched in 2001. The deal is expected to close before the end of 2002.
The acquisition of Zurich-based Hirslanden is part of BC Partners's commitment to buyout opportunities in the Swiss market. The deal was led by Simon Palley, chairman of General Healthcare Group and managing partner of BC Partners.
Paul Capital in Spanish first
US secondary buyer Paul Capital has completed Spain's first secondary portfolio acquisition, paying an initial price ‘in excess of €24m’ for a portfolio of eight investments from Spanish house Inversiones Ibersuizas.
The sale of the portfolio, which comprises minority interests in businesses ranging from automotive companies to food producers, provides Ibersuizas with capital to make further acquisitions in the Spanish market, with the firm planning to close several deals before the end of the current year.
The transaction forms part of a larger agreement between the two firms that will see them co-operate in future secondary transactions in the Spanish market. Paul Capital says it intends to make further acquisitions at a time when private equity firms are struggling to make successful exits. The firm sees Europe as being an increasingly relevant market and already has a similar alliance agreement in France with Axa Private Equity.
DB Capital and Lazard Alternative Asset Advisors have different reasons for pursuing securitisations of their private equity programs, but the deals represent two vastly different approaches to this emerging liquidity solution.
Deutsche Bank is about to come to market with a “collateralised fund obligation” backed by 77 partnership interests housed in DB Capital, the bank's private investment arm, according to a source familiar with the matter. Published reports put the value of Deutsche Bank's CFO at $690m, although one source put the bank's goal at $1bn.
While Deutsche Bank's goal is to take some private equity exposure off its balance sheet, Lazard's securitisation effort is designed to raise capital for additional investment. The firm is in the market with a $1.2bn vehicle structured as a two per cent redeemable participating preferred stock, meaning it guarantees an IRR of at least two per cent. The underlying funds will be made up of 75 per cent Lazard funds, including distressed, venture and private equity products and 25 per cent third-party funds. The management fees and carry are already factored into the cost structure. Lazard is guaranteeing the fund's coupon through an insurance wrap provided by Berkshire Hathaway.
Lazard is not the first to attempt this securitisation approach. Deutsche Bank already came to market with a principal-protected, $300m vehicle called DB Protector, an XL Insurancewrapped fund-of-funds with a Standard & Poor's rating. Half of the vehicle's underlying funds were to come from Deutsche Bank's inventory, with the balance made up of new partnerships into 2004. The same source also says DB Protector was “dead” as an ongoing effort.
Last year, a similar effort from JP Morgan, called the Porter fund, also failed to gather steam and was shelved.
Battery gives $51m back to LPs
US venture capital firm Battery Ventures has laid off nine employees, including two of its partners, and has announced plans to refund up to $51.5m in carry to its investors from its fifth fund. Taking the profits generated by early investments in the fund made Battery's general partners subject to the clawback clause included in the fund's contract. By relinquishing the $51.5m in fees, Battery was able to wipe out the clawback provision.
Partners at Battery began pocketing their 20 per cent share of the profits before returning Fund V's full principle of $450m to its limited partners, including Harvard University and General Motors. Fund V closed on $450m in 1999. The fund, which is fully invested, still has 15 portfolio companies. Battery has made three exits from Fund V portfolio companies, and has returned $250m.
“The lifespan of the fund is through 2009,” the spokesperson said. “There are fifteen companies left in it, so it very well could return the money, but based on the [returns of] 1999 vintage funds across the industry, we don't know what's going to happen with it. So we decided to seize the issue now and defer those fees on the fund for the remainder of the fund's lifespan, and at the same time get rid of the clawback clause with the LPs.”
BVCA proposes reporting standard
The British Venture Capital Association (BVCA) has published a consultation document setting out reporting principles and valuation guidelines for UK private equity and venture capital practitioners which seeks to bolster the UK's position as a transparent and regulated market for private equity investment.
The association recommends that reporting documents to limited partners are issued twice a year, within 60 days half way through the financial year of a fund and 120 days at year-end.
The report also makes detailed recommendations on what kind of information about a fund should be provided, and it calls for the value of portfolio investments to be re-assessed semi-annually. Valuations of privately held investments are to be obtained on a fair value basis, with Internal Rates of Return taking into account at least monthly cash flows, fund performance, multiple of investment cost, return on capital and income, all on the assumption that all investments are realised on the date of the reporting.
The valuation guidelines set out in the document are broadly in line with International Accounting Standard 39 (IAS 39), bar certain exceptions such as allowing for quoted market prices to be discounted under certain circumstances, which IAS 39 prohibits.
The BVCA, which has been working on the document for over a year, is seeking feedback from industry professionals until January, with a final set of guidelines to be published early next year.
Investors relieved of commitments worth €100m
Galileo Partners, the Paris-based private equity firm, has reduced the size of its third fund amid concerns from LPs about the scope for investment in the European market. The fund, which makes investments across IT, software and communications, has been reduced by over a third (€92m) to €158m following the departure of one of the firm's GPs and a reduction in deal activity.
Fund III raised €250m for technology investments in France and Europe, making it one of the largest European funds dedicated to the sector. Last year the firm added the acquisition of secondary technology portfolios to its investment strategy.
However, with only 24 per cent of the third fund invested two years after it closed on €250m, the firm decided to speak to its LPs, which include Goldman Sachs and HarbourVest, about the possibility of reducing the fund's size. “We saw that many US funds were scaling back the size of their technology funds and we decided that it was best to do likewise,” said Joel Flichy, Galileo partner. “Unsurprisingly, all of our LPs were happy to co-operate.”
The firm has continued to invest in internet and software companies throughout the technology slump, believing that its investments should be able to ride out the downturn. “Deal flow could be better, but we are still seeing opportunities and are close to completing two new investments,” adds Flichy.
Galileo has also had to address difficulties in its second fund. In April, Galileo closed Galileo IIB, one of Europe's first ‘side funds’, which will make follow-on investments in portfolio companies that were unable to achieve exits due to the shrinking of the technology sector. The firm raised €12m for the side-fund, with all of Fund II's LPs committing capital.
JP Morgan to pull out of fund placement
JP Morgan, the bulge bracket US investment bank, is mulling plans to shut down its global private equity fundraising advisory business in response to poor market conditions facing private equity firms looking to raise capital. A source close to the bank said it was “not probable” that the Private Equity Fund Group would continue to operate after completing existing assignments.
Following a recent headcount reduction, the division is currently operating a skeleton staff of six professionals split across offices in New York, Dallas and London. “They've let a bunch of people go which is hardly surprising given the current situation in the market,” said one observer. “Fundraising has fallen sharply this year and there is a shortage of new mandates coming through.”
Prior to the lay-offs, JP Morgan's fund placement group had comprised 19 professionals. Among staff to have left the group's London office, which is headed up by Nicholas Hofgren, are Tareq Al-Mudahf and Renwick Paige.
The division is currently working on a small number of mandates including a fundraising campaign for UK firm Cabot Square Capital. Past assignments include placements for Bison Partners, KRG Capital and JP Morgan Partners, the bank's captive private equity manager that is preparing to close an $8bn fund before the end of the year.
According to industry estimates, European private equity firms have raised less than €10bn so far this year. In the boom years of 2000 and 2001, general partners had raised in excess of €40bn per annum.
Private equity ‘Standards Board’ takes shape
A group of private equity industry professionals has expanded its effort to formulate recommendations for standardized valuation and reporting guidelines and named the members for a new standards board.
The Private Equity Industry Guidelines Group, which was formed in February by Marcia Bateson, a managing director at JP Morgan Partners, Steve Beitler, a managing director at Trident Capital, William Franklin, a managing director of Bank of America Capital Corp, and Paul de Klerk of NIB Capital Private Equity, has expanded to include 18 high-profile people from across the spectrum of institutions involved in private equity, including GPs, LPs and service providers. The group is seeking to create formal guidelines for the valuations of companies, disclosing information to limited partners and the public, and other issues affecting the industry.
“This is the first time where both the LP and GP communities have come together to jointly look at reporting issues,” William Franklin, and chairperson of the group, said in the statement. “We hope to deliver a general reporting framework that is embraced by all the parties involved.”
Public and private institutional investors in the group include: Marie Berggren of the University of California Office of the Treasurer of the Regents, Real Desrochers of the California State Teachers' Retirement System Public Service Office, William Franklin of Bank of America Capital Corp, Edward Mollahan of JP Morgan Chase, and Lawrence Rusoff of General Motors Investment Management.
Investment advisors in the group include Kevin Delbridge of HarbourVest Partners, Mario Giannini of Hamilton Lane Advisors and Barry Gonder of Grove Street Advisors. Buyout firm professionals in the group include: Nick Archer of CVC Capital Partners, Jamie Gates of Texas Pacific Group, Carl Thoma of Thoma Cressey Equity Partners, Howard Weiss of Castle Harlan, and Kenneth Whitney of The Blackstone Group. Venture capital firm professionals include Stephen Holmes of InterWest Partners and Eugene Trainor of New Enterprise Associates.
Jose Sinai of Financial Technologies, a firm that develops private equity reporting software, is also a member of the group.
Paris-based private equity firm AXA Private Equity, the private equity division of insurance group AXA, announced today it is starting the fund raising process for a fund of funds with a target of $200m. The fund will concentrate on the US and Western Europe.
AXA has also created a fund of funds executive committee comprised of Vincent Gombault, Stephan Illenberger and Christophe Florin. AXA also announced that James Pitt has joined the firm as a managing director in its primary funds Europe division, and will lead the London office. He comes from Whitney & Co, where he was a managing director responsible for European investment
AXA's funds of funds operation is directed by Vincent Gombault, also a member of the board, who handles all primary and secondary fund-of-funds businesses including direct investment in private equity funds and the acquisition of equity interests from direct fund shareholders. The firm manages or advises funds totalling more than €4bn.
Fifth fund of funds for MPC
Global Vision Private Equity Partners, the German private equity fund manager, has secured a fifth mandate from Hamburg-based MPC Capital to manage its latest fund of funds offering for high net-worth individuals (HNWIs) in Germany. The Fünfte MPC Global Equity Fund will seek to raise €50m, with investors committing a minimum of €20,000 to the fund.
The fund will invest in eight to twelve international venture capital and private equity programs, with up to 15 per cent of the fund's capital available for coinvestment opportunities in selected direct investments. Global Vision has already identified five funds for potential investment including Carlyle/ Riverstone Global Energy and Power Fund II, Doughty Hanson's upcoming fourth fund, Forward Ventures V and Merlin Biosciences III, which held a first close at €125m in September.
Swiss Re to test market with €400m FoF
Swiss Re, one of the world's largest re-insurers, is raising a new private equity fund, Swiss Re Private Equity Partners II, a €400m fundof-funds vehicle. The new fund will have a cornerstone investment of €200m from its Swiss parent with the balance to be raised from third party institutional investors.
The firm is planning a first close at €200m at the end of the year with a final close to come at the end of 2003. A multi-portfolio structure is proposed. Investors still hungry for exposure to the asset class will be able to choose between four portfolios: US venture capital funds, a US balanced portfolio of buyout, special situation and mezzanine funds as well as European versions of both products.
Largest Irish VC fund closed
Trinity Venture Capital, an Irish early stage technology investor has completed Ireland's largest venture capital fund, raising €140m. The fund is one of the largest to be raised specifically for technology investments in Europe this year.
Trinity Venture Fund II, which will predominantly invest in Irish-based companies, set an initial target of between €100m and €150m when the fund was launched in late 2000. “We're very happy to have raised what is the largest dedicated technology investment fund raised in Ireland,” said John Tracey, Trinity CEO.
Investors in Trinity Fund II include European and Asian financial institutions, although specific details of the investor base have not been disclosed. Trinity is part of Reihill Venture Capital Group, which includes Hibernia Capital Partners, focused on management buyouts and restructuring opportunities.
Golding wins Credit Suisse FoF mandate
The German private banking unit of Credit Suisse is launching a private equity fund of funds tailored to attract the bank's private clients. The bank has hired Munich-based Golding Capital Partners, which has previously assisted German financial institution HCI on its private client offerings, to structure and manage CS Venture I, which is hoping to capitalise on the downturn as a means of securing best value for investors. The fund, which is aiming for a €25m total, will spread its investments equally across US and European buyout and venture capital funds.
CS Venture I will commit to around eight to ten private equity funds, investing up to €5m per fund. Golding Capital CEO Jeremy Golding has already held discussions with a number of fund managers, including Charterhouse and German manager Nordwind, although no commitments will be made prior to capital being raised.
Investors buy into Lime Rock's second
Specialist private equity firm Lime Rock Partners, which focuses on the energy sector, has announced the final close of its second fund at $320m. Lime Rock Partners II was launched in late 2001 and had an original target total of $200m. Lime Rock, based in Westport in Connecticut, has offices in the major energy centres of North America and Western Europe, and the new fund will target companies in the oil and gas service, transportation, and production throughout these regions.
“We are pleased with the results of this fund raising, which indicates that there is a growing recognition that the energy sector is a part of the economy where returns are suitable for private equity investors and are achievable with the right strategy,” said John Reynolds, managing director of Lime Rock. Placement agent Monument Group helped raise the new fund, which is made up of over 40 institutional investors. Lime Rock's first fund closed at $105m in October 1998.
Ferrari CEO launches consumer fund
Ferrari chairman and chief executive officer Luca Cordero di Montezemolo announced today he has raised €110m in a first close for a private equity fund that will invest in the Italian consumer goods, media, and entertainment sectors. Founding limited partners in the Charme fund, which is targeted at €150m, include institutions Deutsche Bank, Unicredito Italiano, and Monte dei Paschi di Siena, as well as Diego della Valle, founder of Tod's and president of Florence's Fiorentina soccer team.
“This initiative represents the first phase of what will be a long-term entrepreneurial project that will be flexible and dynamic,” said Montezemolo. The firm said its investments will not necessarily be restricted to the luxury goods sector, but will be companies that show a high level of potential in terms of branding and strategic marketing. “Those companies that Charme believes will benefit most from the investment made will be selected.”
Eric Archambeau, the former Atlas Ventures general partner and the man responsible for establishing Benchmark Capital's European business has left the firm. Details of Archambeau's departure are scarce, but reports suggest he is planning to return to France to launch a $15m new venture capital fund, Arch Ventures.
Archambeau remains a shareholder in Benchmark and according to French business daily Les Echos, will remain a member of the board at Almonde, a French software developer for retail banks and one of 14 European investments made by Benchmark since it launched its fund in 2000.
It is not known who will replace Archambeau as head of the firm's European team. Benchmark has so far not commented on the departure.
Whitehead to build placement firm
Lance Whitehead, a former fundraiser with Dresdner Kleinwort Capital and Bank Indosuez, has set up Cygnus Capital, a UK-based placement agency that will target Europe and lucrative fundraising opportunities across the Middle East. Cygnus has already secured mandates from US-based Energy Investors Fund, and the UK mid-cap specialist, Kleinwort Capital, both of whom he worked with until earlier this year.
Whitehead's previous work in the Gulf Region included a $45m fundraising for Wasserstein Perella's US Equity Partners. More recently he has completed a $26m private placement for a new Middle-Eastern satellite and news television network.
Whitehead believes the region offers fund managers an excellent opportunity to ‘top-up’ successful fundraising efforts. “The Middle East is a great market for fundraising, due to its counter-cyclical nature and the large pool of capital that has been committed to private equity.
Middle-Eastern institutional investors have been involved in alternative investing for as long, if not longer, than many of their European counterparts.”
Carlyle gears up for Germany
Michael Rogowski, president of the Federal Association of German Industries (BDI), has joined the advisory board of US private equity firm The Carlyle Group's €1bn European buyout fund, Carlyle Europe Partners. Rogowski, a veteran of the German industrial sector, is also vice-president of the Federation of Engineering Industries. Over the course of his career he has run businesses including communications and systems integration technologies and services provider SISCO in Frankfurt and paper manufacturer Voith.
Rogowski's arrival comes a week after the Washington-based buyout house announced that Louis Gerstner, the retiring chairman of computer hardware provider IBM, will become its chairman. Louis Gerstner replaces Frank Carlucci after nine years at the helm of the Washington-based firm.
SJ Berwin grows alternative practice
SJ Berwin has added to its European alternative investment team with the appointment of Achim Pütz as a partner at the UK law firm's German office. Pütz is the co-founder and chairman of the German Alternative Investments Association.
Pütz is part of SJ Berwin's plans to expand its already significant presence in the alternative investments market. Pütz will lead SJ Berwin's German hedge funds and capital market group at the firm's Munich office, which is headed by senior partner Uwe Steininger.
“We are increasingly working on a wide variety of investment fund structures, private equity funds, property funds, hedge funds and funds of funds across our European practice,” said Jonathan Blake, head of SJ Berwin's European private equity team. “Pütz's expertise and experience in derivatives and capital markets instruments are important to all of these.”
Duke Street grows buyout team
Duke Street Capital, the European buyout firm, has made two appointments which increase the firm's buyout team to 20 personnel. Corinne Margerit and Oliver Mayer are to join the firm as investment managers at the London office, with particular focus on media and healthcare. Margerit joins from CSFB where she spent five years in corporate finance in London and New York specialising in healthcare. Mayer joins the firm from Rh^ne Capital focusing on leveraged buyouts and M&A in the United States and Europe.
Duke Street head of private equity Peter Taylor said the appointments came at a time when the firm's European deal flow was ‘increasing rapidly’. The past six months have seen Duke Street expand its network of European offices, most recently with the creation of Iberduke Capital Partners in Madrid.