NEWS & VIEWS

Global private equity and venture capital news and research

North America

17 June 2004

The new form 8-K disclosure requirements – ‘Real time’ disclosurep

New disclosure requirements were introduced in the US in January this year, which required public companies to disclose, on a rapid and current basis, material information regarding changes in the company's financial conditions and operations. New requirements, to come into effect in August 2004, will require that both publicly and privately held companies meet these conditions, according to Weil, Gotshal Manges.

14 June 2004

Background checks: Proceed with cautionp

High profile events of the last few years, including the corporate accounting scandals and September 11, have forever changed the US business landscape. One important change is that employers are seeking to learn more about the backgrounds of applicants and employees. This is equally true of private equity investors, which are increasingly insisting on background checks for management teams as part of their due diligence, according to Adam Forman and Robert Kilroy of Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault.

4 June 2004

Moneytree survey: Q1 04p

US venture capital investments in the first quarter of 2004 totalled $4.6bn, below the $5.2bn invested in the fourth quarter of the previous year, but significantly above the $4.2bn invested in the corresponding period last year, according to the latest PricewaterhouseCoopers' Moneytree Survey.

27 May 2004

Trends in legal terms in venture financings in the San Francisco Bay areap

There was a significant improvement in venture valuations in the first quarter of 2004, with up rounds outpacing down rounds for the first time in two years, according to Fenwick & West.

23 April 2004

Outside directors in the government’s spotlightp

Private equity investors who sit on public company boards have long viewed the risk of being sued in shareholder litigation as a cost of doing business, according to Brian Pastuszenski, Jordan Hershman and John Falvey of Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault. But in the wake of the Enron fiasco and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, these risks have been considerably heightened and the importance of observing best practices has become all the more clear.

13 April 2004

Leveraged recapitalisations: There is such a thing as being too rich and too thinp

A combination of a strong high yield financing market and the new lower tax rates for dividends and capital gains in the US, have recently provided private equity investors with a strong economic incentive to effect leveraged recapitalisations of their portfolio companies to finance a special dividend or redemption of stock, according to Marilyn French and Scott Mazur of Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

13 April 2004

Getting in position to be in positionp

Achieving liquidity through the US public equity markets has become more time consuming and more expensive in the wake of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and other related regulations. Portfolio companies that understand the increased effort required to complete an initial public offering and prepare in advance to be a public company will significantly reduce the number of obstacles to liquidity confronting them and their private equity investors, according to Mark Bettencourt of Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault.

6 April 2004

Total US venture capital reportp

Over $5.5bn of venture capital was invested in 502 private US based companies in the fourth quarter of 2003. This represents the first quarter-to-quarter increase in funding in two years and the largest increase since early 2000, according to Growthink Research.

6 April 2004

Alternative market perspectivep

US private equity firms raised $43.9bn in 2003, down 26 per cent from $59.4bn in 2002, and more than 75 per cent less than the $178.5bn raised at the height of the private equity bubble in 2000, according to the Hewitt Investment Group.

22 March 2004

The case for Arizona: Early-stage technologyp

Arizona is experiencing the beginnings of critical mass in life sciences and other early-stage technologies suggesting it may have the potential to emerge as a new partner on the global stage. But the market is currently suffering from a severe lack of venture capital activity and is among the most underserved markets in the world, according to Intium Capital.

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