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« Controlled Greed Mentioned in WSJ.com's "MarketBeat" Column | Main | Looking to Buy »

April 14, 2006

Private Equity for the Masses

This Bloomberg article pinpoints a way for individual investors without $25 million to get in on the private equity fun:

Shares of SVG Capital Plc, a London-based investment trust, trade at 830 pence ($14.50) on the London Stock Exchange and are up 16 percent this year. SVG has provided about a third of the money Permira Advisers Ltd. is raising for Europe's largest buyout fund. Investors can also buy into funds that invest in a range of private equity funds.

It's a neat piece and I don't know anything about SVG Capital (haven't had time to research it). But regular readers of this blog knew 3i Group (III/LN) was a way of getting in on private equity last May.

In fact, the linked article discusses 3i. Here are the relevant parts:

Shares of 3i Group Plc, Europe's largest publicly traded venture capital firm, tripled in value to a high of 1,769 pence in 2000 as technology investments boomed, only to slump to 407 pence in September 2002. The stock has gained 39 percent since the start of last year.

And then this:

Founded after World War II by Clement Attlee's Labour government to help develop small businesses in the U.K., 3i is boosting spending on overseas businesses, snapping up companies in India and China. In February, the firm made its first investment in Russia, buying a stake in a $140 million Russian private equity fund. The company invests in leveraged buyouts as well as venture and growth capital investments, where it spends from 10 million euros ($12 million) to 100 million euros buying a minority stake in a company it expects to grow.

P.S. 3i has had a decent run-up since last year -- not including its pay outs -- and we may be getting late in the game with private equity. One indication of that is more and more private equity stories being carried in the financial press. Though the subject of hedge funds may be getting more play, for what it's worth.

P.P.S. It's nice to occasionally write a post that doesn't touch on me losing my shirt with GM. ;-)


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