PEWlive Technology Summit

The much-awaited coronavirus vaccine arrived in the UK today. The first batch of Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine will be stored at an undisclosed location, while being distributed to the rest of the country and rolled out to high priority groups.

In the US, Joe Biden will ask Americans to wear masks for his first 100 days in office. Biden, along with former president Barack Obama, have also promised to take the Covid-19 vaccine shot publicly in order to mitigate concerns around its safety.

This week retailer Debenhams, which was taken over in 2003 by a private equity consortium and returned to the stock market in 2006, went into administration, while digital bank Monzo topped up its earlier fundraising round with an additional GBP60m in financing, bringing its total raised this year to GBP125 million.  

Meanwhile, 20 private equity firms are in the run up to invest EUR300m in Germany’s top football league Bundesliga, as it aims to roll out an international online subscription service.

Two billionaire brothers have launched a takeover offer for Caffè Nero just hours before the UK coffee chain sought approval from its landlords to cut its rent bill. The pandemic has also meant that members club Soho House agreed with its private equity backer Permira to extend the maturity of its debt to 2023.

In this week’s guest feature, Gregory Bowes, co-founder and managing principal and Irene Rivera Calderón, associate at Albright Capital penned down their thoughts on how thoughtful investors will want to pursue investment strategies that can potentially achieve the equivalent to baseball’s rare “triple play,” that is, attractive risk-adjusted returns, portfolio diversification benefits, and positive social impact. 

Providing restructuring support and/or private credit to EM companies suffering from macro events outside of their control may be such a strategy, according to the authors. 

On the deal side, Updraft – a lending, credit report, and financial planning app designed to tackle escalating consumer borrowing in the UK – secured GBP16 million in a round including Quilam Capital on the debt side, and the UK Government’s Future Fund, which participated via their convertible loan note alongside a group of high-net-worths.

Threat intelligence, hunting and response technology provider EclecticIQ has raised EUR20 million in Series C financing led by cyber investor Ace Management. Other participants in the round include Capricorn Digital Growth Fund and Quest for Growth, Invest-NL, Arches Capital and existing investors INKEF Capital, KEEN Venture Partners and KPN ventures.

And Warsaw-based private equity firm Abris Capital Partners acquired Polish healthcare network operator ScanMed Enterprises, for EUR 76million.

Karin Wasteson
Editor, Private Equity Wire



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