ACP Capital ; THE INVESTMENT COLUMN
Jivkov, Michael, The Independent (London, England)
Our view: Buy
Share price: 127.5p (unch)
Derek Vago wants to turn ACP Capital, listed on the Alternative Investment Market, into a major merchant bank servicing small to medium- sized companies in Europe. So far he seems to have made all the right moves. Mr Vago, formerly head of Nomura's principal finance division, where he succeeded the famous Guy Hands, started the business from scratch 15 months ago. Yesterday, following a fresh fund-raising which doubled the firm's size, ACP boasted a market capitalisation of [pound]250m. That is not bad going.
ACP makes money by managing capital for others in return for a fee and using its own balance sheet for taking positions. The space it has chosen to operate in is an interesting one and looks to be full of opportunity. Following the Basel II accounting standards accord, larger banks have increasingly moved away from servicing small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe and focused on larger companies. This has left a space for ACP to fill.
It aims to provide a range of financing solutions to SME's from equity to various types of borrowing. So, for example, if you are a chemicals company in Germany and want to buy your rival across the road ACP will help you finance the deal. …