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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Robin Wauters at TechCrunch: Private Equity Firm Acquires Internet Brands In $640 Million Deal

Robin Wauters at TechCrunch:

Private Equity Firm Acquires Internet Brands In $640 Million Deal

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

UPDATE: Europe's Private Equity Trade Body Elects New Chair - WSJ.com

UPDATE: Europe's Private Equity Trade Body Elects New Chair - WSJ.com

State Energy Conglomerates Dominate the World of Big Oil : The Conflict between Democratic (Private) Capitalism and State Capitalism

Calling private-sector oil companies "Big Oil" is really a misnomer, since state-owned energy conglomerates now dominate the world markets. David Brooks at the New York Times discusses The Larger Struggle writing:
"In the democratic capitalist world we have oil companies, like Exxon Mobil, BP and Royal Dutch Shell, that make money for shareholders.
In the state capitalist world there are government-run enterprises like Gazprom, Petrobras, Saudi Aramco, Petronas, Petróleos de Venezuela, China National Petroleum Corporation and the National Iranian Oil Company. These companies create wealth for the political cliques, and they, in turn, have the power of the state behind them.
With this advantage, state energy companies have been absolutely crushing the private-sector energy companies. In America, we use the phrase Big Oil to describe Exxon Mobil, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and others. But that just shows how parochial we are. In fact, none of these private companies make it on a list of the world’s top 13 energy companies. A generation ago, the biggest multinationals produced well more than half of the world’s oil and gas. But now, according to Bremmer, they produce just 10 percent of the world’s oil and gas and hold only about 3 percent of the world’s reserves."
Hat tip to CaryGEE.

Crossposted from LawPundit.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Corporate Directors and General Counsel Rank Top 20 Law Firms in the U.S. - Boardmember.com

Annual Legal Study Ranks Top 20 Law Firms in the U.S. - Boardmember.com

Corporate Directors and General Counsel Rank Top 20 Law Firms in the U.S. - Boardmember.com

Annual Legal Study Ranks Top 20 Law Firms in the U.S. - Boardmember.com

Venture Capitalists back Etacts Inc. whose Etacts Gmail Plug-In Aims to become a Unified Box for Messages

At the Wall Street Journal blog Venture Capital Dispatch, Tomio Geron in Newly Seeded Etacts Seeking Holy Grail Of The Unified Inbox writes about the e-mail information glut and the proliferation of social networking messages from various network providers that, inter alia:
"A new start-up, Etacts Inc., is attempting to unify all these messages into one place, focusing on people who have to stay in touch with contacts for their jobs....

Etacts' Gmail plug-in organizes email, providing recent conversations with a contact and basic information about the sender through sites such as LinkedIn. Etacts also brings in messages from social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter."

Crossposted from LawPundit.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Private Equity Returning to Financial Services Industry -- Seeking Alpha

Private Equity Returning to Financial Services Industry -- Seeking Alpha
"The Financial Services industry has been getting increased attention from the private equity industry as the credit crisis eases and the financial sector’s outlook begins to brighten again."

Preserving the Wealth Creation Engine of America - Javier Tordable blog on Software, Mathematics and Technology

Javier Tordable writes in Preserving the Wealth Creation Engine of America - Javier Tordable blog on Software, Mathematics and Technology
"Over the last few decades hundreds of companies, thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of real wealth were created by startups with the support of angel investors. The possibility of a small company to obtain seed funding with little more than an idea is indeed one of the most important wealth creation engines of America. Now this possibility, this engine, is at stake.

There is a bill currently under review in the Senate that includes two provisions that directly threaten the way that startups are funded. The bill is the "Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010” supported by Senator Dodd. Even though the intention of the bill is noble, to attempt to protect investors against fraudulent investment requests, two of its sections can have severe unintended consequences for the economy and the society of the United States."
What are they?

Read the full posting here.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

After a 30-Year Run, Rise of the Super-Rich Hits a Wall - NYTimes.com

After a 30-Year Run, Rise of the Super-Rich Hits a Wall - NYTimes.com
"The rich have been getting richer for so long that the trend has come to seem almost permanent.

They began to pull away from everyone else in the 1970s. By 2006, income was more concentrated at the top than it had been since the late 1920s. The recent news about resurgent Wall Street pay has seemed to suggest that not even the Great Recession could reverse the rise in income inequality.

But economists say — and data is beginning to show — that a significant change may in fact be under way. The rich, as a group, are no longer getting richer. Over the last two years, they have become poorer. And many may not return to their old levels of wealth and income anytime soon."
Read the rest here.

Hedgies, private equity dance to investors' tune | Reuters

Hedgies, private equity dance to investors' tune | Reuters

The Century of the Emerging Market

Heather Timmons and Vikas Bajaj at the New York Times in Corporate Deal Makers Head to Emerging Markets quote David Viniar, Goldman Sachs chief financial officer:
"“This will be the century” of the emerging market...."

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Carlyle Group and Fosun Group of China to Launch Private Equity Joint Venture in China

Carlyle, Fosun Group To Launch Private-Equity Fund JV - Source - WSJ.com
"SHANGHAI (Dow Jones)--Carlyle Group L.P. and Chinese conglomerate Fosun Group plan to launch a private-equity fund joint venture in China, ..."

World Financial Crisis - The Worst is Over Says Blackstone's Schwarzman

World Financial Crisis - The Worst is Over Says Blackstone's Schwarzman

Jason Kelly writes:
"February 26, 2010 from Bloomberg -- Blackstone Group Inc., the world’s biggest private-equity company, paid Chairman Stephen Schwarzman a salary of ....

Schwarzman, 63, told investors yesterday that “the worst is over” as markets stabilize and buyout managers are able to sell some assets and make deals."

Something Very Strange Is Happening With Treasuries -- Seeking Alpha

Something Very Strange Is Happening With Treasuries -- Seeking Alpha

Some comments might be interpreted to suggest that the Fed is buying up its own treasuries - as a way of printing money.
As "swaps" notes in the comments:
"To sum up then, the U. S. government might as well drop the facade and just issue money without borrowing it. As the Constitution calls for. Tim Geithner should make the call to do this because if, like Kennedy and Lincoln, someone wants blood it won't be Obama's.
The U. S. borrowing money when it never had to do so in the first place - was a bad idea. And this entire mess is the result of that.
It's my understanding that Russia just prints money for projects, then soaks up the excess with taxation. How did they get so smart? Was it their bankruptcy filing a few years ago?"

Is 'man who broke the Bank of England' George Soros at centre of hedge funds betting against crisis-hit euro? | Mail Online

Is 'man who broke the Bank of England' George Soros at centre of hedge funds betting against crisis-hit euro? | Mail Online:
by Karl West

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wall Street and the China Market : Morgan Stanley Out : Private Equity In

Wall Street is retreating from China - MarketWatch

Morgan Stanley is reported as retreating from Chinia, but MarketWatch writes that private equity is "in" to China:
"[P]rivate-equity firms -- given the dearth of cheap bank financing and opportunities in the established U.S. and European markets -- have turned their eyes to the so-called BRIC countries, Brazil, Russia, India and China."

Intellectual Ventures and Invention Capital : Financing Inventors and Monetizing Creations : Making Big Money out of Patents : The "New" Software ?

Intellectual Ventures has been labelled "Intellectual Vultures" as a consequence of its acquisition of 30,000 patents and collection thus far of more than $1 billion in license fees. That is big business. What goes on?

In Investment Firm Hopes to Turn Patents Into Invention Capital Market, Steve Lohr at the New York Times reports on this "nonpracticing entity" - called a patent troll by its detractors - that makes no products of its own but deals in patents only.

The March 2010 Issue of the Harvard Business Review under the title Funding Eureka! features an article written by Nathan Myhrvold, former chief technology officer at Microsoft and Founder and CEO of Intellectual Ventures, in which Myhrvold makes the case that his company is not a patent troll but is trying to "create a capital market for inventions" and "to make applied research a profitable activity that attracts vastly more private investment than it does today".

Is it possible that Myhrvold represents the future of patents?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Be An Angel; Help an Entrepreneur

Be An Angel; Help an Entrepreneur
by FC Expert Blogger Francine Hardaway
"So we need the creation of new businesses. Well, why aren’t they forming? After all, 10% of us are out of work. Isn’t that when new businesses form?"

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Private Equity-Backed IPOs Kick Off 2010 With A Whimper - Private Equity Beat - WSJ

Private Equity-Backed IPOs Kick Off 2010 With A Whimper - Private Equity Beat - WSJ

The Week In Private Equity: All-Conflict Edition - Private Equity Beat - WSJ

The Week In Private Equity: All-Conflict Edition - Private Equity Beat - WSJ

Josh Beckerman writes:
"Big Brother vs. The Banks. President Barack Obama’s administration’s proposed new rules for banks and the potential impact on private equity make the carried interest tax debate seem almost quaint by comparison."

BaltCap inks €30m Latvian VC fund agreement with EIF

BaltCap inks €30m Latvian VC fund agreement with EIF
"Eastern European private equity firm BaltCap has signed an agreement with the European Investment Fund to establish a €30m venture capital fund.

BaltCap Latvia is the first venture capital fund manager to successfully complete private fundraising under EIF managed JEREMIE initiatives in Europe."

Friday, January 22, 2010

Venture Funding Moves from Clean Energy to Efficient Lighting and Energy-Management Software : Biotech Leads the Pack

Venture Funding Stabilizes, Shifts to Biotech, Shuns Energy - BusinessWeek

Biotech is on the rise as drug companies seek to offset expiring patents and as investments are being made in new technologies such as genome and cancer research. Less money is going into clean energy and more into projects for efficient lighting and energy-management software.

Tim Mullaney, January 22, 2010 (Bloomberg) , writes:
"Venture-capital funding for startup companies stabilized in the fourth quarter, with investor interest shifting toward drug development and away from clean energy....

Biotech was the largest industry for the quarter."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Entrepreneurial Edge - Universities Join With Small Firms to Develop Nanotechnology - NYTimes.com

Entrepreneurial Edge - Universities Join With Small Firms to Develop Nanotechnology - NYTimes.com

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

New & Noteworthy | Page 1 | Robb Report

New & Noteworthy | Page 1 | Robb Report

The RobbReport is a magazine that calls itself "The Global Luxur Source". MANY expensive things to buy at prices that few can afford.

Breakthrough in developing super-material graphene

Breakthrough in developing super-material graphene
"ScienceDaily (Jan. 19, 2010) — A collaborative research project has brought the world a step closer to producing a new material on which future nanotechnology could be based. Researchers across Europe, including the UK's National Physical Laboratory (NPL), have demonstrated how an incredible material, graphene, could hold the key to the future of high-speed electronics, such as micro-chips and touchscreen technology....

Graphene is a relatively new form of carbon made up of a single layer of atoms arranged in a honeycomb shaped lattice. Despite being one atom thick and chemically simple, graphene's is extremely strong and highly conductive, making it ideal for high-speed electronics, photonics and beyond.

Graphene is a strong candidate to replace semiconductor chips. Moore's Law observes that the density of transistors on an integrated circuit doubles every two years, but silicon and other existing transistor materials are thought to be close to the minimum size where they can remain effective. Graphene transistors can potentially run at faster speeds and cope with higher temperatures. Graphene could be the solution to ensuring computing technology to continue to grow in power whilst shrinking in size, extending the life of Moore's law by many years."
Read the full article here on this breakthrough development in electronics.

Venture Funding of Nanotechnology Start-Ups in Life Sciences and Healthcare Increased as Overall Funding Declined in 2009 | NDN

Venture Funding of Nanotechnology Start-Ups in Life Sciences and Healthcare Increased as Overall Funding Declined in 2009 | NDN
"A new report from Lux Research shows that while overall nanotechnology venture capital (VC) spending was down in 2009, investment in nano-driven healthcare and life sciences increased by 42 percent last year."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

America vs. Europe - Opinionator Blog - NYTimes.com : The Evolution of Capitalism

At the New York Times Opinionator Blog, David Brooks and Gail Collins discuss capitalism from the standpoint of America vs. Europe

One of the great misconceptions about American capitalism vs. capitalism in Europe is the myth that American capitalism takes more risks - and the blog commenters to this dialogue between Brooks and Collins raise the cutting edge question "at whose cost?"

Make sure you read those comments on this topic - some are quite brilliant.

Our take is that if the current financial crisis has taught one lesson that should be understood by all, it is that the risk-taker is often not the capitalist, and that the credit risks that were taken by the financial establishment did their greatest harm not to the wealthy capitalists or the capitalist institutions themselves but rather was a harm inflicted on the non-risking American taxpayer.

There are clear differences between capitalism in America and Europe, but this has more to do with the culture of venture capital rather than with any capitalistic differences in fact. Silicon Valley is the best example of this. Which "capitalist" there truly risked his neck to get a start-up going? As any real capitalist will tell you, the smart entrepreneur works with other people's money - usually OUR money, that of average citizens - through the financing credit institutions. That is the name of the game.

On an ancillary issue of health insurance, being without health insurance has nothing to do with risk-taking but is rather a social evil which every industrial country in the world has solved decently by national health insurance of some kind. Wrongly mixing capitalism and investment up with taking care the health of a nation's citizens is just foolish and antiquated.

Many people in the United States need to be alerted to the fact that we are no longer in the 19th century and that the entire capitalistic ball game has changed dramatically in the last 50 years. Those who doubt that statement might be interested in the following presentation by Nancy Koehn, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and author of The Story of American Business: From the Pages of the New York Times, October, 2009, who discusses "The Evolution of Capitalism" at BigThink:

President Obama: We Want Our Money Back! « Row 2, Seat 4

President Obama: We Want Our Money Back! « Row 2, Seat 4 (January 14, 2010)

"... President Obama today proposed a bank fee on major financial firms in order to reimburse American taxpayers who bore the brunt of the Wall Street bailouts...."


Read the full article and the text of the President's remarks here.

Looking Ahead in the Markets, Stocks Expected to Improve - Financial Planning

Looking Ahead in the Markets, Stocks Expected to Improve - Financial Planning

Elizabeth Wine writes (January 1, 2010):
"As investors breathe a sigh of relief that the wild ride of 2009 is over, they're peeking over the parapet to see if 2010 offers more tranquility. Many strategists see the economic recovery continuing and equities continuing to climb. They note that corporations are generally upbeat, continuing to ride the wave of positive earnings reports-more than 70% of the S&P 500 companies beat their earnings forecast for the third quarter of 2009."
Read the full article here.

Hedge Funds See Asset Surge, But Talent Loss - Financial Planning

Hedge Funds See Asset Surge, But Talent Loss - Financial Planning by Matt Ackermann writes on January 14, 2010):
"Assets held in hedge funds increased in 2009, but ... more than 20% of hedge funds shut down in the past two years, as 1,500 funds were liquidated in 2008 and 900 more in 2009.”

Goldman Sachs | Private Wealth Management

Goldman Sachs | Private Wealth Management

Private-Equity Fund-Raising at Worst Levels Since 2003 - WSJ.com

Private-Equity Fund-Raising at Worst Levels Since 2003 - WSJ.com by Nathan Becker writes:

"Private-equity fund-raising in the U.S. had its worst year since 2003, with most sectors experiencing steep drops, according to Dow Jones LP Source.

In 2009, 331 funds raised $95.8 billion, down 68% from the $299.9 billion raised by 508 funds in 2008, Dow Jones said. In the fourth quarter, firms raised $20.5 billion in 75 funds, ..."

Our intellectual property regime is absurd – a reminder from The Equity Kicker via TechDirt

Our intellectual property regime is absurd – a reminder |

The Equity Kicker writes as follows and gives us six examples:
"....I am neither a lawyer nor an expert on this subject but I have seen enough startups undermined by spurious patent claims and innovative young media companies stymied by copyright difficulties to convince me that the current system is wrong, wrong, wrong....

The point of this post is to give some examples of this waste and friction, all culled from a single days writing on Techdirt...."

1. Japanese electronics firms turn to patent fights as Korean companies take the lead in this market....

2. French copyright enforcement agency accidentally steals someone else’s font....

3. Union Square Ventures posted about the need for an independent invention defence against patent infringement lawsuits....

4. Getting legal clearance for films is now painful as samples of third party copyrighted work need clearance....

5. There is a serious debate as to whether software patents should be allowed at all....

6. A company called DigiProtect is sending collection agencies after people it accuses of copyright infringement before they have been found guilty....

Read the full article here.

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