European Union: 中东欧的筹资趋势

Last Updated: 6 February 2019
Article by Simon Bodjanski

私募股权和创业投资(创投)市场经历了2017年的"金发姑娘"状态后,有限合伙人和普通合伙人开始看见环境改变的迹象。

上个月,我有幸在华沙的中东欧并购和私募股权论坛上主持了一场专题研论会。讨论的主题环绕:私募股权与创投市场自"2017丰收年"后的转变,以及我们在中东欧所看见的趋势。

私募股权与创投市场在2017年的表现创下新高。截至2017年6月,全球的资产管理达2.83兆美元,创下新纪录。在所有的私人资本资产类别中,私募股权的回报是最高的,而且也是全球退休基金中表现最强劲的长期投资。投资者的满意度几乎达到历史最高水平,而计划增加在私募股权的即时与长期投资分配的净余额也创下纪录。

我们目前已有建立好的"稳健筹资+交易流+大量资金流出"周期,这引领庞大的净现金流回到有限合伙人的手中,分红比现金筹款要高。2017年,全球筹得4530亿美元,而绝大部分的基金也筹得接近或高于目标的款项,而且相对较快。

不断变化的市场

上述所提及的"金发姑娘"状况不可能无限期地持续下去。这会对有限合伙人和普通合伙人带来什么影响呢?虽然目前说市场有转向还言之过早,但我们确实在2018年看见环境改变的信号。

资金来源

我在论坛的专题讨论会中,询问了中东欧的有限合伙人和普通合伙人如何寻找资金。

ARX Equity Partners总部位于布拉格,其董事经理Brian Wardrop解释,对低于1.5亿欧元的小型基金,本地私人有限合伙人(包括机构与非机构)变得越来越重要。"在一篮子或某些原因下,如欧洲复兴开发银行(EBRD)退出捷克,以及其他本地因素下,捷克似乎是这方面的领先者。长远来看,我将这视为中东欧私募股权市场的自然进化与成熟。随着本地资本增加,中东欧开始逐渐看起来像西欧的有限合伙人基地。"

另外,欧洲投资基金(EIF)北欧、东欧和南欧中低市场主管Marco Natoli补充,对较小型的基金、新兴经理人和新成立的团队而言,国际金融机构(IFI)所扮演的角色至关重要。他也引述欧洲投资基金作为有限合伙人的筹资经验称:"我们基本上是通过公众/国家促进机构(NPI)为区域融资,一般附有政策目标。最近,欧洲投资基金已与退休基金、主权财富基金等制定出一个私人筹资策略,而中东欧是发售区域之一。"

波兰发展基金有限合伙人Annemarie Dalka认为,强大的本地投资者规模是关键,特别是对中小型基金而言。这也是他们今年初成立私募股权组合型基金计划的原因。波兰明年将迎来新的筹资管道——私人退休计划(PPK)。

中东欧的回报、风险概况与专业化情况

随后,我们讨论的主题转向中东欧筹资的回报、风险概况与专业化相关的话题。

Genesis Capital的总部位于布拉格,其一般合伙人Ondřej Vičar表示,该区域出现一个趋势,在捷克尤其明显。越来越多新成立的家族办公室或金融集团,正管理与创始人以往创业活动相关的资本。"作为投资活动的一部分,他们通常会随机和机会性地尝试投资公司(为一般合伙人的特定交易创造潜在竞争)。但另一方面,他们往往没有任何清晰的愿景和策略,而且缺乏经验和最佳实践。"他预料,这些团体会发现,通过专业基金经理将资本间接投资在私募股权,是一个更平稳、便宜和低风险的方法。随着时间推移,他们将成为私募股权基金的新资本来源。

Wardrop先生说,无论是以地理位置、或是行业/情况,还是两者同时来看,较小型的公司都正变得越来越专业化。"以往,注重在较小型和中低资本的普通合伙人遍布了整个中东欧,但这情况已不存在。简单而言,区分和专业化的需求是明确的。"

该研讨会也讨论了这些主题在中东欧筹资方面是否具有独特性?还是这与我们在全球所见的情况相似?

Natoli先生表示,中东欧无法避开全球筹资的趋势。"这区域已部分受惠于大量的资金中,却还没到可以稳企于国际投资者心中地位的水平。"

他指出,中东欧的筹资表现始终仅与几个成功例子相关。"去年,相对正面的数据只有仅仅五个基金交割的结果。如果能有规模更广泛或更平均的活跃业者作为基础,情况会较为理想。中东欧目前正从'发展中'市场进化为'发达'市场。尽管中东欧的宏观经济水平与西欧相近,但有限合伙人划拨的款项分配仍比不上其他发展中的私募股权市场,如拉丁美洲、中东和北非和东南亚。"

Dalka小姐强调,全球趋势有部分是由有限合伙人类别和他们特定的需求所引发。"对保险公司来说,关键是有效使用风险加权资产,因此他们的重点是通过认购授信额度,以平缓J弧线。而组合型基金的重点则是提升整体回酬,因增加共同投资的需求。"

有限合伙人投资在中东欧的常见问题

随着中东欧市场发展,成本也逐步上升,例如劳工成本。这些增幅会如何影响有限合伙人对投资的需求?

Dalka小姐相信,成本上升与该区域充裕的国内生产总值(GDP)增长互相平衡,代际变化创造了市场机会。

Natoli先生认为,中东欧并不能视为一个同质区域,个别国家的情况有可能会影响有限合伙人的看法和兴趣。他也说,成本上升只是其中一个隐忧。"各种投资策略的有效性及差异性也是关键。该区域一些参与者成功在早期吸纳资金,但却无法证明自己有能力从经济融合所推动的通才策略,转变成为每一个国家机遇所度身订造的专属策略。"

Vičar先生说,有限合伙人所面临的问题是大部分中东欧市场的规模,因为他们较为分散,使用不同的货币、文化、法律和语言。"惟另一方面,经济融合、继承和其他正面的宏观趋势,仍推动该区域的投资。在这方面,欲投资在中东欧的有限合伙人想寻求投资在国家基金也是合理的——特别是专注于非常接近的一、两个国家的基金经理,因为他们了解其中细节,也有能力应对上述所提及的障碍和限制。"

本地及国际投资者如何与市场互动?

比起国际投资者,本地投资者自然在中东欧有更强大的本地根基。Vičar先生表示,在实践上,这一般意味着本地投资者在本地市场的活动范围较广泛。"通常,投资在私募股权是一种为本地投资者提供交叉销售其他服务的方式,包括银行融资、并购服务、高净值人士网络。在部分情况,除了原有的基金投资和预先商议好的共通投资安排,他们还有可以积极寻求自己直接投资的机会。这有时候会构成一些潜在的利益冲突,或从本地普通合伙人的观点来看,则会陷入不明确的情况。"

Natoli先生相信,市场仍欠缺本地投资者。"我们在波兰的波兰发展基金(PFR)和其他国家的一些NPI看到改善的迹象,但仍未足够。"他说,大量存在的本地投资者是吸引国际有限合伙人的关键,因为他们为外国投资者提供了急需的本地支援。

承销商

专题讨论小组对承销商的看法让我颇感兴趣。国际普通合伙人是否在使用承销商在中东欧筹资呢?使用本地承销商有什么好处?

Wardrop先生说,最好的承销商会想要承销规模更大的基金。他认为,基于某些特定原因,顶尖精英承销商的收费是值得的。

Vičar先生称,较小型的基金或无法负担顶尖的承销商费用,而这些承销商也会因为机会成本,犹豫或不愿为他们服务。另外,使用B级承销商有可能无法达到预期表现,更严重的是,如果承销商欠缺专业或使用过度硬销要求投资者提供资金,这有可能会损及客户的声誉。

Natoli先生说,中东欧只有一部分的普通合伙人会使用承销商,最主要的原因是成本。"有能力的承销商能带来不少的益处,包括促进筹资活动的准备、有效地管理流程、在不同的筹资阶段为不同类别的有限合伙人制定针对性的解决方案。"

Dalka小姐重申,许多有限合伙人对分配与规模有特定的限制,这是中东欧经理无法达到的要求,因此使用承销商是可以理解的。"我们只想看到普通合伙人自付相关成本。我认为,如投资欧洲或机构有限合伙人协会(ILPA)等机构所作的努力,正有助于提升报告的透明度和统一性。"

关键重点

中东欧的主要筹资特点在于其正从"发展中市场"进化至"发达市场"。这区域仍被认为具有风险溢价(主要与不同的国家风险有关)。中东欧普通合伙人的专业化与差异化是关键,而以本地有限合伙人为基地对中东欧中小型基金相当重要。拥有最多的市场资讯是推动基金行业的发展的一个恒常的因素,可以帮助有限合伙人和普通合伙人作出决定及执行策略。

全球来看,我们看见私募股权和创投资本市场越来越集中,其中,最大型基金的资产比例更是不断增加。尽管如此,新基金仍有许多机会,整体而言,他们的回报率甚至比经验老到的基金更高。市场对环境、社会和治理(ESG)方面也越来越关注,不仅是基于原则,更大的原因是他们能获得更高、更可靠的回报途径。随着有限合伙人寻求不同的结构以满足他们个人的需求,再加上普通合伙人想要提供匹配产品,因此进入投资私募股权的途径也越来越多。

与我们联系

TMF Group横跨中东欧的办事处能为基金或特殊目的公司提供全方位的支援,包括从成立到全面的基金和的行政服务。我们独特的服务基建平台由本地知识与专业知识融合构成,能为您提供最高素质的服务。

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