Carlyle expands European venture team

Infineon Technologies chief executive Ulrich Schumacher is to join the advisory board for the US firm’s E650m venture capital fund.

Carlyle Group, the US private equity group, has sought to shore up its technology venture capital portfolio with the appointment of Ulrich Schumacher to the firm’s venture capital advisory fund.


Schumacher led the spin-out of Infineon Technologies from Siemens in 1999, subsequently completing an initial public offering of the company in March 2000. Schumacher will continue as CEO of the Munich-based micro electronics business.


Carlyle's European venture capital fund targets investments in expanding technology companies with substantial operations in Europe. To date the fund has invested approximately E300m from its E650m Carlyle Europe Venture Partners fund, launched in 1999.


Carlyle recently led the E30m second round of financing for Opto Speed, a Swiss-based developer and manufacturer of optoelectronic modules for the communications, medical and defence markets. The firm invests across France, Germany, Switzerland, the UK and Scandinavia.


The firm has announced a number of appointments to its venture capital team over the past twelve months. Last March, it named Wolfgang Hanrieder, former managing partner at Star Ventures Management, as managing director of the fund. More recently, Gene Greiner and Maurice Martin joined the venture capital division as director and senior associate respectively.


Despite the current lack of investment, particularly at the high-tech end of the market, Schumacher believes there is a ‘wealth of opportunities’ in the technology sector. However a lack of liquidity in the market and a collapse in portfolio company valuations has seen a number of prominent venture capital firms in the US and Europe announce fund cutbacks.  


Some limited partners clearly remain wary too. Yesterday for example private equity investors AXA Private Equity said that it reduced its fund of funds commitment to venture capital from 35 to 25 per cent.