NEWS & VIEWS

Global private equity and venture capital news and research

North America

15 May 2002

Liquidity options remain limited $

Venture capitalists are finding that opportunities for exiting their investments are still declining. The IPO window will continue to be shut for the foreseeable future and M&A activity in the first quarter of 2002 has also been affected, according to recent figures from the NVCA and Venture Economics.

10 May 2002

Commonfund Benchmarks Study 2002 $

In an effort to diversify their portfolio and pick up increased returns, US higher education endowments and foundations have shifted more of their funds into alternative investments, with 43 per cent having some allocation to private equity. The Commonfund Institute conducts an annual survey on this activity and asked 53 respondents from the 2001 survey what their predictions and intentions were for 2002.

8 May 2002

US venture capital fundraising plummets in Q1 $

US private equity fund-raising suffered another dismal quarter in the first three months of the year, falling 56 per cent on the fourth quarter to just $2.2bn, according to figures from Venture Economics and the National Venture Capital Association. 44 funds managed to close in the first quarter, compared with 65 in the fourth.

30 April 2002

An introduction to registration rights $

Exit strategy is one of the most important items on any private equity investor's checklist. Many investors, particularly in new economy investments, look to a US listing for this exit. But simply getting the initial listing of the target company in the US is only half the battle, says Andrew Ostrognai of Debevoise & Plimpton. The investor must also be able to register its shares for sale to the public after IPO - a process that can be complex and that needs to address a number of issues.

30 April 2002

Guidance for compliance with the USA PATRIOT Act $

On 26 October, 2001, President Bush passed the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (PATRIOT). The act contains amendments to existing federal anti-money laundering (AML) law and now extends to venture capital funds and the firms that manage them. This guidance document issued by the NVCA discusses the new laws and reveals that those providing private equity firms with capital will find themselves under greater scrutiny in the future.

23 April 2002

Total US private equity funding report $

The private equity market has finally begun to rebound, according to Growthink's annual report. For the first time in two years, there has been an increase in the number of companies receiving funding. But, the amount raised by these companies did decline, falling from $8.3bn in 2000 to $8.1bn last year.

23 April 2002

LPs consider ‘cash-in and cash-out’ policy $

The GP and LP relationship has become rather heated of late, with many investors seeking new and raised terms from their fund managers. One key area is performance management. Carolina Braunschweig of Private Equity Week looks at the new proposals from the ILPA, which seek to abolish IRRs and offer instead a more transparent method of measuring performance.

16 April 2002

Private equity in Mexico $

The Mexican private equity industry is still in its infancy. As a result, its funds are largely foreign - and the majority are, predictably, from the US. Frank Schneider and Luis Videgaray, of Harvard University and Protego respectively, discuss the characteristics of the asset class in Mexico.

15 April 2002

Private equity funds of funds: a checklist of legal and regulatory issues $

Funds of funds play an important role in providing investors with diversification in private equity commitments. But, these funds face a barrage of regulatory and tax issues in the US and this should be a matter of concern to everyone in the industry, say Joseph A Hugg and David W Tegeler of Testa Hurwitz & Thibeault.

10 April 2002

Uncharted territory $

Have investors in the venture capital industry become more cautious since the burst of the dot-com bubble and the events of 11 September? Many industry players believe that the downturn is an inevitable part of the cycle of a maturing industry; others see it as the beginning-of-the-end of an industry that has already enjoyed its most successful years. John F Ince of UPSIDE examines the state of the venture capital business in the US and discusses what the future holds for this industry.

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