Pleasure and pain


Private equity giant KKR, which over the Christmas period made its investors very happy by agreeing to sell a 50.4 percent stake in Alliance Boots to Walgreens Boots Alliance, bringing the total enterprise value for the deal to £17 billion. In 2012, KKR sold Walgreens a 45 percent stake in the company for $6.7 billion. KKR netted KKR a 3.9x return and £4.7 billion of proceeds in total, and kept a 4.6 percent stake following the sale.

Paris-headquartered pan-European PAI Partners, which reached its €3 billion target for its sixth buyout fund. The oversubscribed vehicle, placed by Rede Partners, came to market in early 2013 and held a first close in January 2014 on €1.4 billion. The fundraise closely follows the sale of international biscuit maker United Biscuits, which the firm held with The Blackstone Group, to Turkish food manufacturer Yildiz Holding for more than £2 billion, netting a 3.7x return for its €2.7 billion Fund IV.

India, which attracted $10.9 billion in private equity investment during 2014, the second largest total ever recorded in the country. The value of private equity dealflow in India reached $10.9 billion last year, a 47 percent increase year-on-year and second only to the record $14.5 billion invested by the industry in 2007. Figures also show that investments are becoming larger in India, with the volume of investment roughly on par with last year at 436 deals, despite their combined value climbing by almost 50 percent.


Private equity firms CVC Capital Partners and Bencis Capital Partners, which found themselves on the receiving end of hefty fines from the Dutch competition authority. Following charges against former portfolio company Meneba Beheer, a Dutch flour business, for breaking competition rules through a collective agreement with competitors to keep prices stable between 2001 and 2007, the Dutch regulator ruled that the two firms must pay between €450,000 and €1.5 million.

Dutch pension fund administrator PGGM, which lost investment director Wouter Snoeijers to Los Angeles-based private equity firm Levin Leichtman Capital Partners. Snoeijers, who joined Levine Leichtman in January as a managing director, will be responsible for establishing and managing the firm’s Netherlands office, leading its origination and investing efforts throughout continental Europe. He will also look after the firm’s newly established Europe-dedicated investment fund, Levine Leichtman Capital Partners Europe, which just closed on €100 million.

Swiss portfolio companies heavily reliant on exports, which are set to take a pummeling after the Swiss National Bank abandoned its cap on the Swiss franc’s value against the euro. The currency shot up 30 percent on the news from CHF1.20 to the euro to just 0.81, but later recovered to CHF1.04, with Swiss shares closing down 9 percent on 15 January. Mark Haefele, chief investment officer of UBS, estimated the move would cost Swiss exporters around CHF5 billion francs (£3.3 billion) this year, equivalent to 0.7 percent of Swiss economic output.