Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Welcome Return to Normality; CITY COMMENT

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Welcome Return to Normality; CITY COMMENT

Article excerpt

Byline: Anthony Hilton

THE flotation of Gartmore is surely not the disaster some would have us believe. The cool reception does not mean there is no appetite for new issues. It is simply a warning to the private equity industry not to try to push overpriced issues onto the -- as several have been preparing to. The lesson from Gartmore is not that it failed to reach an inflated price but that it successfully sold for a realistic one.

The deeper lesson is that the system really is beginning to free up, witness two of the largest disposals by private equity houses in more than a year, both of which were this month.

Interestingly both were secondary buy-outs -- the almost extinct species where one private equity house sells to another. At the end of last week two British private equity groups Cinven and Candover sold the academic publisher Springer Science and Business Media to EQT which is a Swedish private equity group owned by the Wallenberg industrial dynasty and GIC -- a Singapore-based sovereign wealth fund. …

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