Carlyle cuts European venture fund

The global private equity firm is to cut back its E732m Europe Venture Fund by just over 10 per cent in light of lower valuations and reduced funding levels.

The Carlyle Group has confirmed that its Europe Venture Fund is to be cut by 10 per cent following a review of the E732m fund which was raised at the height of the technology boom in 2000.

A spokesperson for the firm, which today also announced two further appointments to its European venture team, said that although dealflow remained strong, the fund would be reduced by E82m to 'reflect the downturn in valuations and cash burn.'

The fund, which started out as a vehicle dedicated to internet-related investments, parted company with the fund's original management team in 2001 and decided to undertake a review to determine whether a E700m-plus fund was sustainable in the current climate.

The spokesperson said that the two senior appointments would reinforce the firm’s commitment to the fund and reflect its experience of healthy deal flow.

The two people joining Carlyle are Gene Greiner and Maurice Martin. Greiner, a director, is the former president of privately held software company Asera Europe and will focus on investments in companies in the software and services sectors. As president of Asera Europe, he led the company through three rounds of financing, which netted a total of $165m. He is also a former CEO of Chicago Management Consulting.

Maurice Martin joins the venture operation as a senior associate focusing on infrastructure software investments. He joins from IONA Technologies, where he was product director for the Orbix E2A Application Server Platform. Previously, Martin worked for AME as a development manager and for Baydon Technologies as co-founder and vice president of engineering.

'Since our European venture fund launched in April 2000, we have developed a strong team of sector-focused investment professionals,” commented Wolfgang Hanrieder, managing director of Carlyle who joined Jacques Garaialde earlier this year to run the fund following the departures of QXL founder Tim Jackson and Jean-Bernard Tellio in 2001. “This strategy means we have the depth of knowledge needed to uncover the most attractive investment opportunities in Europe and support our portfolio companies after investment.'

The Carlyle Group is a global private equity firm with more than $13.5bn under management. Since 1987, the firm has invested $6.6bn and reports a realized IRR of 37 per cent. It has approximately 500 employees in 21 offices in eleven countries.