Much has been written about private equity and hedge funds getting increasingly confrontational with one another. In November, the rivalry between the two camps finally turned violent when London-based proponents of either strategy got into a fight. Thankfully, given that the incident took place in a boxing ring, no gloves came off. Still, according to eye witnesses, the stand-off was seriously physical.
We are of course talking about Hedge Fund Fight Nite II in London's Marriott Grosvenor Square, a charity event organised by Adrian Fairbourn of UK hedge fund Fund Advisors. Building on last year's string of bouts, a ‘hedge funds only’ affair, Fairbourn decided to throw down the gauntlet to private equity fighters and pair those brave enough with hedge fund counterparts. 450 punters in formal dress attended the spectacle, helping to raise £200,000 for charities Operation Smile, Rainbow Trust and Honeypot.
Predictably perhaps – but then we would say that wouldn't we – the private equity boys didn't pull their punches. Jeremy Greenhalgh of Charterhouse Development Capital prevailed in a tight contest with Michael Stromsoe from Pequot Capital. Cinven's Dick Munton, at 49 the oldest man in the ring, sent Karl Yates of Champneys Health Resorts, which sponsored the event, on his backside twice in what was deemed the finest performance of the evening. Lionel Giacomotto from Charterhouse also fought, as did Cinven's Bruno Schick, Paul Melia and Edward David.
And just in case you were wondering: the boxing was very much for real. Says Munton, a former rugby player without any prior experience in the sport: “This wasn't a case of simply taking your jacket off and getting on with it, it was a tense thing to do. We all trained very hard indeed.”
Readers who fancy a go themselves should heed Munton's words. Preparations for Fight Nite III are already underway. To find out more, visit www.hedgefundfightnite. com.
“Private equity would be my preferred option. That would mean the business would be sold intact and the employees would be secure. Their welfare is very important to me.”
UK billionaire and entrepreneur John Caudwell, founder of Caudwell Communications, revealing hopes that the business he built may be sold to private equity.
If the equity funds are bent on stripping off TDC's assets, burdening it with debt and sacking hordes of workers rather than running and developing the company, then they'll get a fight to the finish.”
A statement of the Dansk Metal Union, issued on the eve of the €12.8 billion LBO of TDC, the Danish telecoms group.
“When you've been around this business as long as I have, you gain quite a few relationships.”
Former Hicks Muse Tate & Furst chairman Tom Hicks, describing to sister publication PrivateEquityOnline that even in retirement, he can't help but “stumble into” a few deals. In November, Hicks Holdings completed the buyout of Ocular LCD, a maker of liquid crystal displays, for an undisclosed sum.