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CVC plans Amsterdam listing in blow to London market

CVC Capital Partners, Europe’s biggest private equity group, is planning to shun London and take its multi-billion-euro initial public offering to Amsterdam’s Euronext exchange.

The buyouts group has told potential investors that it is aiming to list on the Netherlands exchange, and to set a €25bn target for its next private equity fund, according to four people with knowledge of the matter.

No final decisions have been made about the listing or its timing, and much will depend on developments in the war in Ukraine and its consequences for markets, the people added.

However, the choice of Amsterdam over London, by a company that has its roots in the UK capital where it has had a major presence since it spun out of a private equity division of Citigroup in 1993, would be a blow to the London Stock Exchange.

Britain has struggled to attract large and successful listings in the wake of its departure from the EU, which ended regulatory equivalence for financial services. It is working on reforms that attempt to bolster the listings market.

If the plans go ahead, CVC would become the first major private equity firm to list on the exchange, in what stands to become a blockbuster float. The buyouts group was valued at about €15bn last year when it agreed to sell a minority stake to Blue Owl’s Dyal Capital unit.

CVC declined to comment.

Rival buyouts group Bridgepoint became the first major private equity firm to list in London for decades last year, raising £300mn. It used a model that enabled it to avoid sharing information with shareholders about the sums of money its top executives took home in carried interest payouts, a lucrative 20 per cent share of profits on successful deals.

It is not clear whether Amsterdam regulators would require CVC to disclose details of carried interest payouts. Bridgepoint’s shares surged in the wake of last summer’s listing, but have fallen 38 per cent since the beginning of this year.

CVC has already drawn up plans that would enable it to keep in private hands most or all of the lucrative profits it makes buying and selling companies, while handing public investors the proceeds of its smaller but more predictable management fee income.

The secretive group has $122bn in assets under management, according to its website. It is best known for deals including Formula One, the Six Nations rugby tournament, the communications company Teneo, and Unilever’s tea business.

CVC last year took steps to bring in outside capital by selling a stake to Blue Owl’s Dyal Capital unit, and to increase its asset base by acquiring asset manager Glendower Capital.

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