BlackRock Balks at Quality of European IPOs blog post courtesy of extracts from


BlackRock, the world’s largest institutional investor, has sounded the alarm over the quality of European IPOs as hedge funds increase their bets against private equity-backed flotations, after the market for companies going public was soured by a string of high-profile failures. BlackRock said the flotation process needed to be improved, after the best six months for European IPOs since the financial crisis was ruined by poor market debuts from companies including Saga, the UK retirement group, Applus, the Spanish industrial testing business and eDreams Odigeo, the online travel agent.

Mr Leach told the Financial Times that the sheer volume of IPOs coming to market this year had affected communication between issuers and investors: “There has not been the same level of thoughtfulness and dialogue on valuation and structure.”

BlackRock tracked 104 IPOs in Europe in the first six months of this year, of which 38 deals – just over a third – are trading below their issue price. The Eurostoxx index is down around 0.5 per cent so far this year. Twenty companies which had been planning to go public – including names such as retail chain Fat Face – pulled their flotations. This year €33.7bn has already been raised in the European IPO market, more than in any full year since 2007, according to PwC.

Some of the worst performing IPOs in Europe have been those brought to market by private equity investors, with eDreams Odigeo, backed by Permira and Ardian, and Applus, the Carlyle-backed inspection group, both issuing profit warnings soon after listing. Many private equity groups use independent advisory firms such as STJ Advisors, which investment bankers say are too aggressive on pricing.

Investment bankers hit back at BlackRock’s criticisms of recent IPOs. A senior banker at one large bank said: “BlackRock wasn’t complaining after the first quarter when all the IPOs were up. Every potential investment should be looked at on its individual merits. The last time I checked, fund managers weren’t forced to invest.”

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BrokerDealers and Buyside: Bitcoin Coming to A Screen Near You blog update courtesy of extract from Traders Magazine, the leading publication within securities industry’s sell-side (otherwise known as the universe of registered broker-dealers). Coverage for this story provided by TradersMag writer Gregg Wirth. Visitors to this page who may wish to know more about brokerdealers and institutional investors having an interest in bitcoins are invited to search the database.

bitcoinBitcoin, the crypto-currency that initially became infamous as the tender of choice for drug traffickers and mercenaries, may be coming to a trading desk or institutional portfolio near you – and sooner than you think.

“2014 is going to be the year Bitcoin hits Wall Street,” said Barry Silbert, founder and CEO of SecondMarket, a capital-raising platform for private companies and investment funds. Indeed, there is a growing consensus in some corners of Wall Street and the buyside community that the $7.8 billion  Bitcoin industry is going to become the new, flashy darling of investors, with dedicated digital currency funds, venture capitalists and asset managers all chasing after those 12 million bitcoins currently in circulation.

“Digital currencies like Bitcoin are not going away,” Silbert explained. “And Wall Street and the regulators know this, they’ve studied how to deal with it, and now they are starting to understand its potential.” SecondMarket has gone heavy into the Bitcoin phenomenon, launching the Bitcoin Investment Trust, a $70 million open-ended trust that invests exclusively in bitcoins, as well as a dedicated desk of 10 traders who buy and sell bitcoins for the trust and other institutional clients. SecondMarket is also creating what it hopes to be the largest, best-capitalized and well-run Bitcoin exchange in the U.S., and is enlisting banks and Bitcoin-related firms to be exchange members.

“The number of inquiries and requests from finance industry professionals for us to prepare compliant investor offering documents for crypto-centric funds is certainly keeping us busy”, said Paul Azous, CEO of “We don’t see this as some type of anomaly that is connected to a short-term fad, many of the funds we are working with are forward-thinking folks who realize that blockchain applications will be expressed in nearly every business process.”

In addition to preparing investment fund offering documents, helps blockchain-based startups craft white papers, presentation decks that resonate with accredited investors and through a captive network of crypto industry consultants, the firm guides those advancing Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

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Private Equity Firm Takes Coffee Break from Israel Company; IPO Provides Exit Strategy

FINALTERNATIVES blog post courtesy of below extract from hedge fund industry newsletter

After six long years that must feel more like 60 for TPG Capital, the private-equity giant is nearly free of an investment that has made it money, but at a price.

TPG and Strauss Group are near a deal to list Strauss Coffee, the Israeli company in which TPG took a 25% stake in 2008. The deal will allow TPG to exit an investment that has produced more headaches and disappointment than solid returns.

When TPG and Strauss consummated their partnership, both had grand expansion plans and hopes to build a global coffee giant. But TPG’s purchased closed just days before Lehman Brothers collapsed, and the deal-making environment dried up, giving Strauss Coffee few takeover targets. In addition, the company struggled in regions like Russia and Eastern Europe.

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GoDaddy to Tap Public Markets for IPO blog extends thanks to NYT DealBook for below news extract.

GoDaddy, the domain name registration giant, plans to sell its shares to investors in an initial public offering.

Courtesy of NYT DealBook

Courtesy of NYT DealBook

The company, which filed a prospectus with regulators on Monday, is preparing to tap the public markets about two-and-a-half years after it was bought by a group led by the private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Silver Lake. GoDaddy previously sought to go public in 2006, but a deal never materialized at that time.

GoDaddy allows individuals and small businesses to set up Internet domain names, offering services like website building, hosting and security. The company had 57 million domains under management as of Dec. 31. It generates the majority of what it calls bookings — gross sales before refunds — from sales of domain names.

K.K.R. and Silver Lake, along with the venture capital firm Technology Crossover Ventures, paid about $2.25 billion for GoDaddy in December 2011. The company plans to use some of the money raised in the I.P.O. to reduce its debt.

It also plans to make a $25 million payment to its private equity and venture capital owners, to terminate an agreement under which the owners have collected fees.

For the full story, please visit NYT DealBook article.

A Chinese Menu of Deals Drives Venture Capital Guru East; spotlight

Investing in China and sourcing private equity, venture capital and deal opportunities is getting better every day. blog extract is courtesy of New York Times Dealbook

SHANGHAI – James W. Breyer, the venture capitalist who made a fortune with an early bet on Facebook, is putting some of his winnings to work in China, partnering with Beijing-based venture capital firm to invest in Chinese technology start-ups.

IDG Capital Partners said on Wednesday that Mr. Breyer, a longtime partner at Accel Partners in Palo Alto, Calif., would advise and invest alongside a $586 million IDG fund that closed June 3. The fund is expected to make early stage investments in Chinese technology, media and telecommunication companies.

The announcement comes as interest soars in Chinese technology companies after two years of frenzied deal-making, much of it involving China’s Internet giants: Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent. Those three companies alone have spent more than $10 billion buying up start-ups and rivals during the last few years.

And with other technology highfliers here, including, the Chinese e-commerce company that recently raised $1.78 billion in its New York public listing, China has rapidly become a prime destination for the world’s biggest venture capital and private equity firms. Among the biggest and most active in China are Sequoia Capital, Qiming Ventures, SAIF Partners, IDG Capital Partners and Northern Light Venture Capital.