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European venture capital investment is dropping.

European venture capital investment is dropping. In the latest quarter, 167 deals were done that drew 858m euros, compared with 286 deals that drew 1.33b euro investment, according to a new European venture capital report. Information technology and health care sectors drew the sharpest decline while consumer services and energy/utility saw the sharpest increase. Softness in the initial public offering market coupled with the slowdown in mergers and acquisitions are being blamed for the decline. The U.S. market is facing similar problems.

Martin Asset Management of Tarzana, California, plans to establish a program that aims to replicate the performance of hedge funds without the risk factors, fees and opaqueness that are typically associated with hedge funds. The fund will not charge the typical 1 per cent to 2 per cent management fees. Instead it will only levy a 10 per cent performance fees with a high water mark. Francisco Martin founded the alternative investment boutique in 2007. The firm launched a long-biased energy fund earlier this year.

Apollo Real Estate Advisors has boosted the capital of its Apollo Real Estate Fund from USD621m to USD930m. It did so to avail the greater deals it is seeing emerge as a result of the credit crisis that began in the summer of 2006. The outfit is both a buyer and originator of loans and commits up to USD250m a deal. It originates for development, redevelopment and repositioning of whole loans, b-notes and mezzanine loans. Since 1993, the firm has been a part of 456 deals, valued at nearly USD40b.

Cinven Ltd., a private equity firm, has bought 50 per cent of the business of Indicus Advisors, a leveraged finance and global structured credit outfit that has offices in London and New York. The remainder of the firm will be owned by Indicus’ management. It will operate distinctly from Cinven, which will continue in its role as a private equity shop. Fund management outfits engaged in leveraged finance and structured credit have faced a very difficult business environment amid the unfolding credit crisis. Indicus managed 1.756b and also had advisory assets worth USD2b. David Reilly and Ujjaval Desai established Indicus in 2006. It has 17 employees. Global law firm White Case LLP worked on the deal.  

A law suit accuses the son and brother of new Democratic vice presidential hopeful Joseph Biden, a senator from Delaware, of defrauding a business partner and an investor of millions of dollars in a hedge fund deal that went sour. In reply, the duo accuses their business partner Anthony Lotito of defrauding them by misleading them about the hedge fund experience. The fight is over Paradigm Partners Lotito says he set up for getting Hunter, Joe Biden’s son, out of the lobbying business. The complaint also names Biden’s brother James, although his involvement in Paradigm isn’t clear.

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