Preqin’s Q1 2009 Private Equity Spotlight Report

April 18, 2009

Preqin has just released the latest issue of it’s Private Equity Spotlight report. As always they do a very good job looking at the current state of fundraising. While they point out the dire state of funds looking to raise money, based on their polling of LPs, they predict that Q1 of this year will have been the low-point in fundraising. The report also has features on Sovereign Wealth Funds, and French funds (Preqin estimates that French funds have over €40 billion in available capital at the moment. Interesting).  

Anyway, you can read all that for yourself:

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HEC Alum to Take Reins at Wendel Investissement

March 25, 2009

Frédéric Lemoine (HEC.1986), non-executive chairman of French nuclear group Areva and a senior adviser at McKinsey, was appointed on Wednesday night by the board of Wendel Investissement to replace Jean-Bernard Lafonta as CEO, putting an end to more than a year of family in-fighting over leadership and investment strategy. Much of the controversy stemmed from the questionable decision to take a 21.5% stake in staid French manufacturer Saint-Gobain. Best of luck Frédéric!


Debevoise & Plimpton Report: New French Bankruptcy Law Fosters Pre-Insolvency Restructuring

March 18, 2009
Debevoise & Plimpton has just released this client memo discussing a new French bankruptcy law implemented to facilitate pre-insolvency restructurings, an approach previously unknown in France.  The memo refers to a new French bankruptcy law (Ordonnance 2008-1345 of December 18, 2008, and implementing regulation décret 2009-160 of February 12, 2009) that came into force on February 15th of this year. Well worth reading if you have any portfolio firms in France!

Banexi Capital Partenaires Changes Name to Azulis Capital; Acquires Stake in Finag Group

March 12, 2009

Banexi Capital Partenaires has changed it’s name to…drumroll please…Azulis Capital! And just what, you ask, does Azulis mean?  Off the top of my head I have no clue. But French firms do tend to pick names that sound oddly similar to prescription medications. Adding to the confusion is that when conducting a simple Google search, one can see that apparently an Azulis Capital is already operating in Brazil, and there’s a Belgian internet marketing firm called Azulis.  

The name change coincides with Banexi Capital Partenaires’ management team acquiring 100% of the business six years after it spun-out from BNP Paribas. Banexi Capital Partenaires was established 15 years ago as part of BNP Paribas. It gained independence from the French bank in 2004 when its partners acquired a 51% stake in the business.

Aso, Azulis has backed the acquisition of household products manufacturer Finag group from it’s founder Alain Guiader, alongside the management team. Finag was established in 1990 and has developed in three principal areas of activity: designing and producing bathroom accessories under its Galedo brand; distributing kitchen furniture kits through Bois secs De Bourgogne and Rossignol, two businesses purchased in 1996 and 2006 respectively; and producing and distributing metallic and plastic products aimed at the hygiene sector. The group had a turnover of €50M in 2008.


FCPI Investment Activity in Innovative Enterprises: 1997-2007

March 3, 2009

A new study released by the AFIC and OSEO looks at the evolution of investment activity of FCPI’s (Fonds Communs de Placement dans l’Innovation) over the first decade of the investment vehicle’s lifespan.  The study found that between 1997 and 2007, €4.4 billion was raised by 35 firms via 216 FCPI. Of that total, €2.2 billion has been invested in 800 innovative companies, with average investment tickets of just over half-a-million euros. France being a highly centralized country is not much of a surprise to see that over 80% of the investments occured in just three regions: Île-de-France, Rhône-Alpes, and PACA.

Here’s the report (in French):


Abénex Capital and L Capital Sell Nutrition & Santé

January 6, 2009

A deal from France and these days, any deal or exit is news!  Abénex Capital and L Capital (an investment fund that’s sponsored by LVMH) have sold health food producer Nutrition & Santé (fyi, their brand Gerlinéa offers some nice diet cookies) to Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., a Japanese drug, food and drinks maker.  Abénex and L Capital initially purchased Nutrition & Santé from Novartis in 2006 for €220m. 

Nutrition & Santé was founded in 1972 and is based in the French town of Revel.  Nutrition & Santé generated sales of €260m to 40 countries last year.

This deal continues a spending spree trend from Japan.  Japanese firms, notably in pharma, set a record pace for overseas acquisitions in the past year, thanks to strong cash positions and fairly steady credit markets at home.


Delphine Inesta Joins Crédit Agricole Private Equity (CAPE)

December 17, 2008

Alumni News: HEC Alumna Delphine Inesta (H.2003) has just joined Crédit Agricole Private Equity (CAPE)’s special situation department as investment manager where she will focus on distressed companies. Congrats!