• The Luxembourg Financial Connection - Issue 22

    EY’s newsletter on regulatory, leading practices and market developments in the financial services industry from a Luxembourg perspective - including seven articles and covering over 60 new developments.

  • Investment Funds in Luxembourg 2014

    The purpose of this technical guide is to provide, in a clear and concise format, an introduction to Luxembourg as a center for investment funds, the types of funds available and a summary of the regulations applicable to the formation and operation of Luxembourg investment funds.

  • Private equity value creation in Europe

    In crisis and recovery, private equity has continued to outperform public markets in Europe.

  • MiFID II - Time to take action

    Markets in Financial Instruments Directives (MiFID II) will bring about fundamental changes to distribution of wealth and asset management products and services in the EU. Relationships will change, and the winners will be those who adapt their strategies and have the operational capability to respond effectively to the new environment.

  • Private equity value creation in North America

    Our study covers exits through 2013, highlighting the flexibility of the PE model and its capability to generate outperformance throughout a full economic cycle.

  • Valuation on the radar

    Alternative asset managers are increasingly facing opportunites, challenges and constraints in the light of rising regulations such as the AIFMD.

  • Private equity value creation in Latin America

    Although overall activity slowed, the IPO market was strong in 2013, and PE firms continue to outperform comparable public benchmarks.

  • Private Equity Capital Confidence Barometer

    Expectations for fund-raising and acquisitions are improving, but challenges remain, including clearing a backlog of exits from recent years.

  • Private Equity, Public Exits Q1 2014

    Robust equities markets and strong investor sentiment led to the most active first quarter for global IPOs in three years.

Private Equity

Private equity: winning in a new era

Private Equity firms are operating today in an increasingly uncertain environment. After the global financial crisis, the most important lesson learned was: expect the unexpected. Alongside uncertainty and global economic volatility, Private Equity firms are facing a new era of regulation.

Luxembourg has been a major hub in the Private Equity industry for more than 20 years. Its main features attracting Private Equity houses from all over the globe are political and economic stability, a stable tax environment, a strong market infrastructure and a business-friendly environment. Luxembourg has always strived for the cutting edge and will do so going forward. The Grand Duchy will be amongst the first countries to implement the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (the AIFMD) and continually works on further enhancing its footprint in the global Private Equity landscape.

The Luxembourg office of EY welcomes you to discover more about Private Equity in Luxembourg and how we can help you gain perspectives on issues and trends affecting the Private Equity industry, including:


  • Private Equity structures in Luxembourg

    Private Equity activities in Luxembourg started more than 20 years ago by structuring international acquisitions via Luxembourg unregulated vehicles such as the SOPARFI (investment holding company - société de participation financière). Hosting nowadays more than 25,000 SOPARFIs, the key advantages of this vehicle can be summarized as follows:

    • Flexibility in the structuring through three possible legal forms with limited disclosure;
    • Stability  given by a mature, flexible and sustainable legal framework to accommodate tailor-made structures;
    • Tax efficiency provided within an attractive and reliable tax regime.

    In 2004 respectively 2007, Luxembourg further strengthened its commitment to Private Equity by implementing two regulated Private Equity vehicles: the SICAR (investment company in risk capital - société d’investissement en capital à risque) respectively the SIF (specialized investment fund – fonds d’investissement specialisé):

    The SICAR is an investment vehicle designed specifically to suit the needs of Private Equity and Venture Capital and allows for direct or indirect investments that are in line with the Private Equity business model of developing and exiting the asset. SICARs are not subject to any risk-spreading requirements. As of today, Luxembourg counts more than 280 SICARs.

    The SIF is an investment fund that provides a very flexible regulatory regime regarding a fund’s eligible assets but imposes a minimum investment diversification of 30%. As of today, more than 1,400 SIFs give proof to the huge success of this fund vehicle out of which approximately 140 focus on Private Equity investments.

    The four key advantages of the SIF and the SICAR regimes are:

    • Access for general partners to a regulated domicile and superior brand;
    • Tax neutrality;
    • Flexibility in structuring  through various corporate and legal forms, variable capital and compartments;
    • Operational efficiency achieved by, for example, a formal exemption from consolidation.

    Amidst an international regulatory environment seeking to increase transparency and oversight the SICAR and the SIFs are Luxembourg’s two tried-and-tested regulated Private Equity vehicles.

    Related materials:

  • Creating value in private equity investments

    Those able to demonstrate a consistent track record in creating value in their portfolio — which translates into best-in-class realized returns —should be well positioned to attract fresh capital.

    Private equity (PE), similar to other industries, is not immune to continued macro-economic uncertainties, including the impacts of the US and European sovereign debt issues that cloud the horizon.

    However, PE is resilient, nimble and has demonstrated an ability to withstand shocks. It’s no wonder private equity investors have come out of the recession with a renewed focus on organic revenue growth, applying a more entrepreneurial mindset to working with their portfolio companies.

    PE will once again have an opportunity to prove that its active ownership — as we have found in both the North American and European studies on how PE investors create value — enables it to create stronger and more profitable businesses. In fact, institutional investors are seeking exposure to Latin America’s attractive growth story — Brazil in particular — like never before to initiate or expand their private equity investment programs in the region.

    This begs the question: Is the rest of the world evolving to replicate the PE model in the emerging markets? Find out why we say yes.

  • The Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD)

    On 11 November 2010 the European Parliament adopted the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive  which came into force in July 2011. The AIFMD will, when implemented in the EU member states, amongst others introduce a marketing passport permitting the distribution of Alternative Investment Funds (“AIFs”) in any member state of the EU without additional authorization or registration requirements.  The transposition period for AIFMD end mid 2013. From 2013 until at least 2015, only European domiciled products from European domiciled alternative investment fund managers (“AIFMs”) will benefit from this pan-European marketing passport.

    Although AIFMD is in place to regulate primarily AIFMs and indirectly its AIFs, all major stakeholders will be affected: managers, investors and service providers. EY has conducted several studies analyzing the impact of AIFMD on the Private Equity industry and its service providers.

    While many see AIFMD as a burden as it will increase costs to Private Equity houses, the harmonized distribution regime is an opportunity that will make Private Equity a more widely accessible and attractive asset class then before. It is expected that, over a period of time, the AIFMD will establish a quality “AIF brand” for AIFMD-compliant products, comparable to the UCITS brand established by the UCITS Directive for the traditional products. The Luxembourg regulated Private Equity products, SICAR and SIF, display already many of the features that will now become standard under AIFMD.

    Luxembourg aims at being one of the first countries to implement the AIFMD with the draft law having been deposited at the Luxembourg Parliament on 24 August 2012 and to duplicating the Luxembourg UCITS success story in the area of alternative investment funds.

    Related materials:

  • PE-backed IPO activity

    An IPO can be one of the best routes to funding growth for fast-growing companies seeking to raise capital. But it's not a decision that can be taken lightly, and the most successful companies approach an IPO as a transformational process rather than a pure financing event or an endgame.

    Gain insight into the markets trends that are impacting global PE-backed IPO volume, deal activity, investor sentiment and more.

  • Private equity opportunities in emerging markets

    To help private equity executives and investors gain insights into notable emerging markets, we offer perspectives into the trends, challenges and opportunities that are shaping them.

    For a clear picture of where the industry is and, more importantly, where it is heading, see our individual sections on:

    1. Private equity in Africa
    2. Private equity in India
    3. Private equity in Latin America
    4. Private equity in China
    5. Private equity in Brazil
  • Managing risk — for opportunities

    We know you’re concerned about the risks of regulation and compliance.

    Meanwhile, as market volatility and pricing pressures unsettle the landscape, those forces are stimulating competition and creating opportunities.

    To strike that balance between risk and opportunity, our research suggests that many leading firms are developing an overarching strategy that balances both.

    Our work with clients reveals that there is a need to re-engineer the risk processes across the business, just as was done with finance, manufacturing, and supply chain processes.

    The goal is to get better coverage on the risks that matter.

    Learn more about turning risks and opportunities into results.



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