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Apax Partners Worldwide LLP announces merger of Apax Partners Inc with SKM


New York/London, February 24, 2005 -- Leading global private equity group Apax Partners Worldwide LLP today announced the merger of its U.S. firm Apax Partners, Inc. with Saunders Karp & Megrue (SKM). As part of the merger, John F. Megrue and Allan W. Karp of SKM have been named co-CEOs of Apax Partners, Inc., and will become members of Apax Partners' global executive committee, responsible for the management of the worldwide firm.

Apax Partners will now have 38 investment professionals in its New York and Menlo Park, CA offices, and about $20 billion under management or advice around the world.

The merger will marry SKM's strengths - its top position in the U.S. middle-market, its highly structured approach to deal-sourcing and its extensive knowledge of its core growth industries of Retail, Restaurants, Consumer, Healthcare, and Financial and Business services - with Apax Partners' global reach, cross-border deal sourcing and execution expertise, growth-to-buyout skills, as well as deep knowledge of its identified core growth industries of Retail and Consumer, IT, Media, Telecommunications, Healthcare and Financial/Business services. The merger is expected to close March 15, 2005.

Dr. Martin Halusa, CEO of Apax Partners Worldwide LLP said: 'The addition of SKM's team gives us an even greater ability to execute cross-border transactions of all sizes, and enhances our already strong capabilities in sourcing unique deals that ultimately create value for our limited partners in the U.S., as well as in Europe. This exciting combination allows both SKM and Apax Partners, Inc. to build an even more powerful organization upon their strong track records. The Apax Partners and SKM teams have long known and respected each other, and we share common values.'

John F. Megrue said: 'By combining our strengths, we believe we are setting Apax Partners apart as a clear leader in the private equity industry -- in the U.S. and globally. The sector focus of our firms is similar, and we are at relatively the same point in our investment cycles. We have completed extensive integration planning, and are now very excited to move ahead together to aggressively capture the new opportunities that are available to our combined firm.'

Both Apax Excelsior VI Fund, the $1.1 billion, U.S.-focused fund launched by Apax Partners, Inc. in 2000, and SKM III, SKM's current $735 million fund launched in 2000, are performing extremely well and are approximately 75% invested.

In conjunction with the merger, SKM's 15 experienced buyout professionals will join Apax Partners. Along with Messrs. Megrue and Karp, who are 46 and 49 respectively, the following SKM partners will be named partners of Apax Partners: Christopher K. Reilly; David Y. Kim; William J. Gumina and Timothy B. Armstrong. Apax Partners, Inc. said that Salem Shuchman, George Jenkins and Lori Rafield are taking early retirement, although Mr. Jenkins, a member of the Executive Committee, will remain with the firm during 2005 to manage the transition. Separately, David Landau has decided to leave prior to the next fundraising.

The firm will operate out of Apax Partners' New York and Menlo Park offices. SKM's Growth Investors, a Dallas-based team focused on making investments in the lower middle-market, will not be part of the merger and will instead be spun out and become an independent entity.


About Saunders Karp & Megrue
Saunders Karp & Megrue is a private equity firm focused on transactions in partnership with the management teams of leading companies across a number of industries. The firm currently manages over $1.5 billion. Saunders Karp & Megrue seek to invest its capital in a small number of well-managed companies which can achieve superior rates of return over a five to seven year period. Its investments have taken a variety of forms, including private company recapitalizations, traditional buyouts and growth financings from $15 million to $150 million pe


Publisher Contact Information:

Apax Partners
+44 (0)20 7872 6495
Siobhan.Loftus@apax.com

Company profile of Apax Partners
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