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Private equity groups see signs of stabilisation
  Hedgeweb - FRI, AUG 28 2009
Funds & Investment Three of Europe??s biggest listed private equity groups have reported drops in the value of their investment portfolios for the first half of the year, while indicating they may be past the worst of the financial crisis.

SVG Capital, the biggest investor in UK buy-out house Permira, said its net asset value per share fell 18 per cent in the year to June as it reported a net loss of £120.9m, against a loss of £864.4m in the same period a year ago.

SVG said that currency movements were to blame for much of the value fall in its portfolio and it had written up the value of some of Permira??s more defensive investments, including Acromas, Birds Eye Iglo and TDC.

Nicholas Ferguson, SVG??s chairman, said its portfolio had shown ??signs of stabilisation? and was benefiting from ??renewed stability? as ??there has been a slow but steady improvement in confidence, as reflected in both equity and debt markets?.

Lynn Fordham, SVG??s new chief executive, said the £171m rights issue and share placing earlier this year had shored up SVG??s balance sheet, cutting net debt from £304m to £184m.

HG Capital Trust, the listed arm of the eponymous mid-market buy-out house, reported a 2.9 per cent drop in its net asset value for the first half of the year.

HG, one of the most resilient listed private equity groups in the financial crisis, said the drop was due to ??further provisions against a small number of investments? as well as currency movements and the payment of a 25p per share dividend.

Meanwhile Eurazeo, the French investment house, reported a 10 per cent drop in its net asset value to ?47.8 per share at June, down from ?53.4 in December.

However, Eurazeo said several of its biggest investments, including Apcoa, the car park operator, and B&B Hotels, had enjoyed strong growth in revenues in the first half of the year.

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