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Swiss make the grade in new global private equity report

Investors help fund the growth of innovative companies Keystone Archive

Tiny Switzerland has been ranked in the top 20 in a number of categories of the global private equity markets.

This content was published on November 5, 2003 - 09:46

The Global Private Equity 2002 research report, published by the venture capital firm 3i, provides an insight into the shape of venture capital and private equity on a worldwide scale.

Despite often lagging behind the competition, the country made the “top 20” globally in terms of “fastest growth” with 5 percent between 1998 and 2002.

It also made the grade at position 16 in the category “high tech investment” with $0.2 billion. At the top in Europe is the UK and France with $2.4 billion and $1.5 billion, respectively.

Expansion capital was also flowing on a global scale as Swiss investors backed privately owned firms to the tune of $0.1 billion, putting the country to take position 17 in that category. Belgium, Norway and Denmark based investors also invested a similar amount.

It appears that in the shadow of the Swiss private banking environment, a large community of mostly independent private equity asset managers has developed over the years.

These companies have a lot of expertise, are highly professional and are increasingly attaining a global reach, commented Urs Wietlisbach, Partner and Co-Chairman of Zug-based Partners Group.

“Considering these facts, I'm not surprised by the results of the study,” he said.

The Swiss did not make the Top 20 based on amount invested, but other similarly sized countries did, such as Finland and Israel did. Nor did Switzerland’s buyout activity put it in the top ranks.

Divided into three regions – North America, Western Europe and Asia Pacific, the research gives a detailed picture of investment activities and trends.

Data from PriceWaterhouseCoopers is used to determine the rankings. According to private equity practitioners, the type of data that these rankings are based on is difficult to acquire and validate because of the private nature of the business and therefore such statistics in private equity should be taken as indicative rather than authoritative.

by Valerie Thompson

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