Maitland/AMO Private Equity Monitor – 3 April 2020

3rd April 2020

Worth a read

Dealmakers to the rescue

Covid-19 has, according to Bloomberg, turned into a “record buying binge” into an industry wide panic turning dealmakers into “rescuers” overnight. It notes that investors including Cinven, Blackstone, Permira and KKR have “rushed to set up financial lifelines” for their European holdings.

Remember us too President Trump

The Financial Times reports that private equity firms in the US are putting pressure on the Trump administration to allow private equity-owned companies to access rescue loans earmarked for small businesses hit by the coronavirus. Steve Nelson, CEO of the Institutional Limited Partners Association, sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stating that the group saw “no reason why being owned in a fund structure should result in these businesses having less access to the capital needed to keep their employees on the payroll”.

Wait, you're really asking for help?

But not everyone agrees that private equity firms should have  access to loan funds which had been earmarked for small US businesses affected by the pandemic. Bloomberg’s Gadfly writes a scathing piece on these private equity firms “crying foul” querying whether they actually “deserve any part in a bailout”.

Partners Group takes quite a bit for their team

Private Equity International reports that Partners Group senior executives are dipping into their own pocket and helping where they can. The article notes that the firm’s co-CEOs and Board of Directors have pledged 100% of their base salaries over the next six months to support portfolio companies.

Do we look to extend fundraising?

Private Equity International writes about the pros and cons of seeking fundraising extensions. The article notes that LPs are due to consider the amount of capital raised and deployed and examine whether there are any investments which are “already underwater” when granting GPs more time to raise funds. The article notes that the pandemic has created an unprecedented market environment for fundraising and that capital raising timelines are expected to lengthen for all “but the most in-demand funds”.

A moment of truth for the industry

“We have arrived at a moment of truth for Japan’s relationship with private equity”, suggests the Financial Times  on the back of Carlyle’s recent fundraise in the country, with the pandemic offering both threat and opportunity for buyout firms. Even with the impact of Covid-19, PwC has estimated that Japan-focused investment funds will raise the most capital since 2006, although it is yet to be seen how M&A will fully impact the M&A markets, or indeed how amenable Japanese CEOs will be to buyouts.

We're still recruiting - for now...

Financial News reports that private equity firms are continuing with recruitment plans as the coronavirus pandemic confines people to their homes. Rupert Bell, a director of DACH at industry recruitment agency PER, has noted a recent increase in enquiries for people with restructuring skills.

Wall of money

Ardian close to record secondaries fund

Bloomberg reports that Ardian has raised approximately $18bn for its eighth secondaries fund, which could close as soon as next month. The fund is nearly twice as big as its predecessor, which raised $10.8bn in 2016.

Gilde Healthcare holds first and final close

European healthcare investment specialist Gilde has announced a close of its fifth fund on €416m, in an oversubscribed fundraise. The fund surpassed its predecessor from 2016 and will invest in sectors including digital health and medtech.

Deal chart

Acquisition TargetBuyerSellerValueDate AnnouncedRegionSector
Cyrus ConseilBridgepoint-Undisclosed02/04/2020FranceWealth Management
Cortus, Salveco, SonomoSObera Capital-Undisclosed02/04/2020FranceVarious
Proximity Data CentresICG-Longbow-£25m01/04/2020UKReal Estate
PCF InsuranceHGGC-Undisclosed01/04/2020USFinancial Services
Beck et al., binary, direkt gruppeWaterland Private Equity-Undisclosed01/04/2020GermanySoftware
AlfaMain Capital Partners-Undisclosed01/04/2020SwedenSoftware
Lily's KitchenNestle Purina PetCareL CattertonUndisclosed01/04/2020UKPetcare
Portuguese solar portfolioFinergeGlenmont PartnersUndisclosed01/04/2020PortugalEnergy
Armostrong Ceiling SolutionsAureliusKnauf InternationalUndisclosed01/04/2020UKConstruction
NVBS Rail ABSegulah-Undisclosed30/03/2020SwedenInfrastructure
PDSVisionCapMan Buyout-Undisclosed30/03/2020SwedenSoftware
Emma BridgewaterBGF-£8m27/03/2020UKRetail & Consumer

Movers and Shakers

The BVCA (British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association) has appointed Neil MacDougall from Silverfleet Capital as its chair for the next financial year.

Andrew Crowston joins Searchlight Capital Partners as a senior adviser. Previously, Crowston was at Novalpina Capital. 

Ardian has appointed Daniel Graf von der Schulenburg from 3i Group as head of infrastructure for Germany.

August Equity has promoted Richard Muckle to investment director.

Synova Capital has promoted Zachary Tsai to partner and Matthew Charman as investment director.

Raymond James has appointed Allan Bertie from Jefferies International as co-head of the firm’s European investment banking arm.

Unigrains has named Sébastien Essioux as deputy CEO. Previously he was CEO of the Groupement Les Mousquetaires.


From the horse’s mouth...

“We’ve got to be careful not to mythologise this into the pandemic Godzilla. We can beat this thing.” – Paul Tudor Jones, American hedge fund manager and billionaire

“Some of the great businesses that are private equity-backed will go out of business with this disruption because they will run out of cash.” – Ben Cukier, Centana Growth Partners

Peace must be more than the absence of war” – Helmut Kohl, German Chancellor, born on this day in 1930