VCs can still achieve exits

The good news is that a year after it was put up for sale, Tom Perkins appears finally to have found a buyer for his super-yacht the Maltese Falcon. The co-founder of Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers is reportedly about to accept a price of around $100 million for his state-of-the-art 289ft vessel – having forked out almost $150 million to build the boat four years ago. However, it is believed that Perkins may break even, having recently let the yacht for around $500,000 per week. The sale has not yet been confirmed and the identity of the potential buyer has not been revealed.

Some reports suggest 75-year-old Perkins, far from laying his ocean-going ambitions to rest, is now devoting his time to an even more breathtaking project – a two-man submarine he has been designing along with engineer Graham Hawkes. The winged vessel is said to resemble Stingray, the combat submarine from the 1960s children's television show of the same name.

QUOTABLES
“Sir, since when was private equity investment anything other than a longterm pursuit? To try to measure annual swings in private equity performance is like trying to gauge the effect of global warming by taking a daily reading of the ocean's temperature.”

Martin Bodenham, founder of UK private equity firm Advantage Capital, in a letter to the Financial Times, responding to an article the newspaper had run entitled “Private equity suffered its worst year on record in 2008”

“Please stop all this nonsense. Placement agents provide a valuable service to small and mid-sized investment firms and 99.99% are honest diligent people. It's offensive to see the many large political donors involved in the recent pay to play schemes get to pay fines and adopt hollow policies to avoid real prosecution. Catch and punish the guilty, leave the innocent alone.”

Ted Carroll, a partner at small US buyout firm Noson Lawen, in a letter posted to the website of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) following the publication of new rules proposing to ban the use of placement agents by investment funds seeking public pension capital

“IT'S UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND YOU BETTER STOP AND THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO. THIS COUNTRY DOESN'T WANT GOVT CONTROL. WE WANT FREEDOM AND OUR LIBERTIES AND THIS RULE WILL SCOFF AT THE INDIVIDUALS FREEDOMS [sic].”

A letter to the SEC also concerning the proposed placement agent ban from Rick Morrow, self-identified as a “veteran, US Army”