Meet the Dark Horse in the Battle for iShares
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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Meet the Dark Horse in the Battle for iShares

Prior to this week, not many in the asset management industry were familiar with CVC Capital Partners, much less predicted it to emerge as the preferred bidder for Barclays' iShares business. But Luxembourg-headquartered private equity firm managed to pull off the unexpected.

In the two-week period leading up to the Barclays' announcement on Tuesday that CVC was the preferred bidder, CVC was being dismissed by rival firms, eFinancialNews' Toby Lewis reported.

CVC is one of the world's biggest private equity firms, but in the financial institution sector, it is a relative newcomer, having only launched its financial institutions group last September.

Jonathan Feuer, a longtime CVC partner and veteran of successful buyouts of UK retailers Debenhams and Halfords, runs the financial institutions group. Last September, CVC's name cropped up as a possible bidder for Neuberger Berman (see The MFWire, 09/15/09).

The preferred bidder status is a coup for CVC, but because it is a relative newcomer in the financial services realm, a rival bidder and a banker told Lewis they expected CVC to join forces with a more experienced financial services partner.

CVC, founded in 1981, has 19 offices across Europe, Asia and the U.S. CVC funds own 52 companies worldwide,with Formula One being part of its portfolio, according to the CVC Web site.

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