Maitland/AMO Private Equity Monitor – 8 February 2019

8th February 2019

Worth a read

Trump vs Berlusconi? Stephen Schwarzman locks into battle with Italian media tycoon

Stephen Schwarzman, the CEO of Blackstone that has long been known as President Trump’s favorite billionaire, has locked himself in a battle with Italian media tycoon Urbano Cairo, himself a protégé of Silvio Berlusconi. The confrontation, according to the Financial Times, has stemmed from a lawsuit between Blackstone and Urbano’s MediaGroup, with Mr Cairo filing an arbitration case against Blackstone which has captured the attention of Italian investors and media.

The battle of private vs public

According to the Financial Times, Private markets have been the clear winner over the past ten years in terms of investor confidence and allocation, however this trend raises some thorny questions over the future of public markets, prompting investors to ask if the latter are still fit for purpose. It also raises the question about what greater inflows into unregulated and more opaque private markets will mean for financial stability.

Partner Group's 21st centruy returns factory

Private Equity International has profiled Steffen Meister, Executive Chairman of Partners Group who shed light on his firm’s discreet recipe for success, helping the firm to amass over €70bn AuM.  The article focuses on the upcoming launch of a Denver office for the firm and planning for the future to ensure continued strong returns in an increasingly difficult environment.

Investors pressure private equity to become more diversified

Investors in both the private equity and hedge fund industry have increasingly called for firms to promote more women in what are two of the least diversified sectors in the finance world. According to Financial News, the alternatives industry has been one of the most lenient industries to sign up to the Women in Finance Charter, something that is likely to change now that investors as well as firms are pushing for change. However on a more positive note, 27% of chief executives at venture capital firms were women, showing an industry that private equity can inspire to.

Wall of money

Carlyle close to €6bn for fifth European fund

Carlyle Group said on its Q4 earnings call that it had nearly collected €6bn for its latest European buyout fund, part of the wave of large funds on the continent this year. A first close for the fund was held last year, taking it above the €4bn mark.

Danish pensions seed $740m

Danish development finance institution Investment Fund for Developing Countries has held a final close on a fund dedicated to investments that back the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Around 80% of the capital will be deployed in Africa and Asia.

Three Hills closes third fund on hard cap

Three Hills Capital Partners has closed its third fund with €540m of commitments, significantly surpassing its initial target of €400m. The fund is already 20% invested in UK-based Recyling Lives and Dutch company ACT.

Hidden Harbor closes debut fund

Hidden Harbour has announced the $265m final close of its first private equity fund, which will invest in lower midmarket US companies. The firm has been started by three H.I.G. Capital veterans and exceeded the original target of $250m.

SoftBank's Vision Fund is depleting quickly

According to Private Equity News, the world’s largest investment fund is running out of money, and fast. At the roughly $7bn per quarter rate it has logged for spending, the fund will be depleted after another 18 months. It may be difficult for the company to raise more funds, particularly with current market volatility and the slowdown in larger economies like China.

Deal chart

Acquisition TargetBuyerSellerValueDate AnnouncedRegionSector
Soderberg & PartnersKKRTA AssociatesUndisclosed, 50% stake07/02/2019SwedenInsurance
Bene AssicurazioniApollo Global Management-Undisclosed, 20% stake07/02/2019ItalyInsurance
APT SolutionsAquiline Capital Partners-Undisclosed07/02/2019UKTMT
Mapa GroupSpringwater-€40m07/02/2019SpainTourism
ASTI Mobile RoboticsKeensight Capital-Undisclosed06/02/2019SpainTMT
ExploreActiva Capital-Undisclosed06/02/2019FranceBusiness Intelligence
WbackC.H. Guenther & Son LLCHalderUndisclosed06/02/2019GermanyFast Food
Concierge Travel GroupInflexion-Undisclosed06/02/2019AustraliaTravel
GrazeUnileverCarlyle Europe Technology Partners£150m approx06/02/2019UKFood
Ultimate Software GroupHellman & Friedman-$11bn approx04/02/2019USAHuman Resources
Cambio Healthcare SystemInvestcorp-Undisclosed04/02/2019SwedenHealthcare

Movers and Shakers


Tenzing Private Equity has hired TMT specialist dealmaker Gareth Healy from Inflexion Private Equity. 

Clearwater International has hired leisure specialist Ian Edward as a senior advisor. Edward has over 30 years’ experience as an M&A adviser in the leisure industry.

Adams Street Partners has appointed Mattias de Beau as a partner in its European primary investment business. Prior to his appointment, de Beau jointly ran EMEA investment activities covering primary, secondary and co-investment opportunities in London for StepStone.

Ardian has appointed Alexander Friedrich as managing director of its Frankfurt officeArdian used to be co-head of the healthcare sector at Quadriga Capital.

SEB Investment Management has appointed Javiera Ragnartz as CEO of the investment managment division. Ragnartz used to work at AMF where she was head of asset management.

North America

Advent International has appointed former TPG Capital partner, Bryan Taylor as managing partner and head of the technology investment team. Prior to AdventTaylor was co-head of TPG Capital’s technology group.

From the horse’s mouth...

“I am quite happy for you to print my dental records on your front page, it really doesn’t matter to me.” – Jon Moulton’s take on GDPR regulation

“A hard Brexit may be enough to throw the whole region [Europe] into recession.” – European Private Equity Breakdown report

“We may brave human laws, but we cannot resist natural ones.” – Jules Verne, French novelist who was born on this day in 1828