Maitland/AMO Private Equity Monitor – 29 November 2019

29th November 2019

Worth a read

It's time to put your tin helmet on folks...

What do Taylor Swift, Elizabeth Warren and American legislators have in common? Two words: private equity. Well, it’s become something of a whipping boy. Or a piñata. The Financial Times reports that private equity firms are singing the least popular song in town. As such private equity lobbying groups are trying to put out the flames that are currently engulfing the industry in America. Ahead of a backdrop of negative publicity form all corners, lobbyists are “racing” to tell their own story.

The Devil wears Prada- and a whole lot more...

Despite the diabolical tinge Elizabeth Warren has sloshed the entire private equity industry with, Private Equity News writes that the devil does in fact wear Prada. Well, that fashion is er, back in fashion for private equity groups. Two recent large European deals have put the wind back into private equity’s fashionable sails which were drooping somewhat.  The article notes that some PE investors are forecasting growth for the fashion and luxury sector by 5-10% annually. Analysts posit that part of the reason for the sector’s appeal is the rapid rise of HNWIs globally – and who doesn’t fancy a bit of retail therapy?

Don't take my .org away from me...

To The Netherlands! Well, more specifically, The Netherlands branch of The Internet Society (basically an American non profit which essentially upholds internet standards). And they’re not happy. Not one bit. Private Equity News reports that there are grumblings that their oversight may be curbed by the sale of the Public Interest Registry (which sells the right to use the suffix .org) to Ethos. Which, despite its name, is in fact a private equity company. Fears abound that Ethos could abuse certain rules to take advantage of the NGO sector. And it’s gaining traction: the father of the internet, Sir Tim Berners-Lee himself waded in and tweeted that if the PIR were not to act in the public interest, it would be “a travesty”.  Food for thought.

Shareholders are revolting

It’s not over until the fat lady sings – Inmarsat has learned this cliché the hard way. Thinking that it was ready for a takeover by private investors, its shareholders have said a quite emphatic no, writes Private Equity News. So now there’s a court case next week (which has been delayed) but again the board and shareholders are pitted against each other.

Wall of money

Largest European PE houses seeking €38.5bn

According to Private Equity International data, 2020 is set to be a year for more mega-funds with CVC, EQT and BC Partners looking to raise €18bn, €12bn and €8.5bn respectively. This is likely to be reflected in the fundraising efforts of counterparts in the US, with KKR set to close its largest ever Asia-focused fund.

Warburg Pincus in India

The US private equity firm is said to be looking to raise up to $1.5bn for its first ever India-focused fund, according to Reuters. Private equity deals in the country are at a record high this year.

Adamantem targeting A$700m

Australian buyout shop Adamantem, founded by two former Pacific Equity Partners dealmakers, is seeking to raise A$700m for its second fund according to sources. Its first fund closed on A$600m in June last year.

Deal chart

Acquisition TargetBuyerSellerValueDate AnnouncedRegionSector
Pebbles CareArdenton Capital Corporation-Undisclosed28/11/2019UK
Sano VitaHighlander Partners-c. $20m27/11/2019RomaniaFood & Drink
IKM CleandrillEnhanced Well TechnologiesStåle KyllingstadNOK 300-400m27/11/2019NorwayOil & Gas
Energy WaveAntasAmbienta€65-70m27/11/2019ItalyBusiness Services
CegalDWS/Argentum - ConsortiumNorvestor EquityUndisclosed27/11/2019NorwaySoftware
DestinyApax PartnersMentha Capitalc. €150m26/11/2019BelgiumTMT
MabtechIK Investment Partners-Undisclosed26/11/2019SwedenBiotech
ImpresoftXenon Private Equity-€75m26/11/2019ItalySoftware
BimediaLa Française des JeuxIdinvest Partners€50m25/11.2019FranceSoftware

Movers and Shakers


Alpha Private Equity has appointed Pierre-Olivier Desplanches as managing directorin France. Prior to this, Desplancheswas at Carlyle for 18 years.

Invest Europe, the trade body representing private equity firms has appointed Martin Bresson as head of Public Affairs. Bresson joins from Rud Pedersen Public Affairs where he was Chair.

Saranac Partners has beefed up its private capital team by hiring Alexis Weber from Citibank.

North America

Morgan Stanley Investment Management has hired Jill Wright from Carlyle Group for its private equity investment team.

From the horse’s mouth...

At Carlyle, we’re staying focused on our stakeholders – the investors that we represent, the companies we support, the communities we work in and the employees who work for the companies we support” – Carlyle Group’s co-CEO robustly responds to a critical Tweet by US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez 

There are far too many examples of private equity firms destroying companies, preying on hardworking Americans to maximise their profits” – Congresswoman Maxine Waters, House financial services committee chair 

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”C.S. Lewis, British author born on this day in 1898