NEWS & VIEWS

Global private equity and venture capital news and research

Country Focus

15 May 2002

Financing LBOs under German law $

The global economic downturn and the Neuer Markt crash has left investors in VC funds wary of where their money is being deployed. Venture deals are declining as exit opportunities dry up. The resulting shift in emphasis to the leveraged buy-out market has brought with it a need for clarification of its processes and legal structures, as examined by lawyers in Lovells' Germany office.

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.

13 May 2002

A risk adverse Q1 for Swiss venture capital $

The Swiss market has proved to be conservative, turning its back on early-stage investment, according to news and research firm, Swiss Venture Update. It recorded 11 venture capital deals in the first quarter of 2002, raising CHF129m of which only two were seed capital investments. The rate of investment remained consistent with the levels of last year, in which 12 deals were completed a quarter worth just over CHF100m

10 May 2002

Early-stage investments in Germany: new challenges and opportunities $

German start-ups have learned valuable lessons from the past and are now equipped with good quality teams and world-class business models. Friedrich Bornikoel of Techno Venture Management on why it is a good time to look to invest in Germany once again.

10 May 2002

A better environment for start-ups and venture capital $

Japan is becoming a more inviting place for start-ups and venture capitalists. The reforms currently in progress represent some of the most significant changes in Japanese corporate law in the last 50 years. However, there is still some way to go before many investors feel fully comfortable with committing to Japanese private equity firms. Hajime Tanahashi of Mori Sogo looks at the challenges ahead.

10 May 2002

Taxation in the Benelux countries $

Fund managers in France and Germany are looking desperately for an escape from full progressive taxation on distributions on their carried interest. In the neighbouring Benelux countries, the skies are far from clear, although careful tax structuring may lead to a more than acceptable after-tax return. Marco de Lignie and Frederic Feyten of Loyens & Loeff look at the options available.

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

Private equity in Japan $

As the pace of Japan's corporate restructuring gathers momentum, there is a growing awareness of the positive role that foreign private equity funds can play in this process. On 20 March 2002, the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) held a conference in New York to discuss the evolution of the industry in the region. The following is a summary of the presentations given.

8 May 2002

Venture capital in India $

The venture capital industry in India has grown dramatically in the last few years, even boasting its own ‘Silicon Valley' in the form of Bangalore. However, VCs and their investors recently lost a great deal of money when India's stock markets crashed. Michael J Ybarra of Upside argues that the industry is now characterised by massive risk-taking but that there are opportunities for some very substantial returns.

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.

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