Private Equity Gathers For Berlin Conference

Feb 27 2013 | 12:33pm ET

This week's big private equity confab in Berlin is long on p.e. executives but short on investors.

The SuperReturn conference is often a good place to go to seek out and speak with potential investors. But those are outnumbered by more than two-to-one by representatives of the private equity firms themselves.

According to The New York Times, more than half of the 1,400 people at SuperReturn are from p.e. shops. Just a quarter of the attendees are institutional and other investors.

"Investors are concentrating on fewer managers," Advent International's Bob Brown told the Times. "Less capital is going to fewer managers."

Some of the big players at the conference turned today to its host continent. The leaders of the Carlyle Group and the Blackstone Group both said they see big opportunities in Europe despite its many troubles.

"Whenever you can buy assets from a government entity in Europe, you should do it," Carlyle's David Rubenstein said. "You will see distressed sellers sell assets at judicious prices."

"There's no doubt Spain will recover, it's just a question of when," Lionel Assant, European head of p.e. at Blackstone, added. Assant said that most European deals in the near future would be valued at between €500 million and €2 billion.

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