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This week has seen a lot of changes in the ways that governments are approaching the ongoing pandemic. While economic figures look extraordinarily grim, cautious containment seems to be the new way of thinking about coronavirus as more and more countries begin to partially or fully lift lockdown measures, carefully monitoring each other’s progress while doing so. 

In Thailand, small businesses and open spaces are back up and running, while locals in Palermo flocked to Mondello after Sicily announced a partial re-opening. In the UK, Boris Johnson announced on Sunday evening that those who could not work from home were being encouraged to return to work if they are able to do so safely. The messaging from the UK government officially changed from “Stay home” to “Stay alert”, reflecting the first step in its attempt to reopen the economy. 

Questions about whether it is too soon to lift social distancing and quarantine measures are being raised across the world, and with the WHO warning this week that coronavirus “may never go away”, many in the private equity space are looking to invest in healthcare as we adapt to an uncertain future. 

Three Hills Capital Partners completed a EUR67 million investment round to partially finance the acquisition of Agfa-Gevaert’s healthcare software business on Tuesday. 

Swiss company Creoptix also announced their role in supporting Professor Adriano Aguzzi, Professor for Neuropathology at University of Zurich, in developing Covid-19 antibody tests through the use of the Creoptix WAVEsystem.

Developing reliable immunity tests is viewed as crucial for stopping the spread of the pandemic, and a key component in the effort to reopen economies crippled by lockdowns.

Returning to business as usual seems increasingly unlikely, but as Jon Mowll, responsible investment analyst at EdenTree Investment Management explains in a guest piece this week, that might not necessarily be a bad thing.

The pandemic has revealed underlying inequalities within our society and Mowll explores whether it’s time to rethink capitalism and how businesses can become more socially aware – by focusing on the “S” in ESG. 

And finally, preparations for our online summit PEWLive US continue apace this week, with three more panellists joining our roster of industry experts for what promises to be an unmissable event. Click here to secure your place…

Karin Wasteson,
Editor, Private Equity Wire



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