European Privatisation and Investment Corporation (EPIC)

Appointed Asset Manager to the city of Prague (portfolio $1.5 billion), May 1998

Founded in 1989, EPIC is a European investment and merchant banking firm exclusively dedicated to providing advisory services and investments for the restructuring and privatisation of Central and Eastern European economies. EPIC is the only firm in Europe to focus its activities exclusively in the region and as a result, has gained special know-how and expertise in this emerging market environment.

Headquartered in Vienna, EPIC has expanded to over 300 professional staff with a presence (either full or significant ownership) in Prague, Bratislava, Warsaw, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Budapest, Moscow, London, Kylv, Sofia, Bucharest and Belgrade.

EPIC received the Central European Award for Excellence in April 1997 for Best Privatisation Advisory House in Central and Eastern Europe from Central European Magazine. Furthermore, it was rated 1995's Top Financial Advisory Firm for Privatisation in Central and Eastern Europe, based on transaction value, in Privatisation International's 1995 League Table, March 1996. The firm presently has over US$2 billion of assets under management and focuses on several key economic sectors including energy, oil and gas, telecommunications, cement, brewing and spirits, pharmaceuticals, and confectionary.

EPIC has received privatisation mandates from prominent corporations throughout the Central and Eastern European region. For example, EPIC has:
  • advised in numerous brewery transactions (five out of seven in Hungary);
  • been actively involved in acquisitions of electricity, oil and gas utilities;
  • served as the lead adviser to the Polish Ministry of Privatisation for five industrial sectors (heavy chemicals, construction, light machinery, apparel and brewing);
  • successfully advised telecommunication consortiums on the purchase of GSM licences;
  • advised Hungarian municipalities on the consolidation of municipal gas shares for future sale;
  • produced a number of research studies on energy companies related to restructuring and privatisation of the Central and Eastern European energy sector.

EPIC's services have been retained by several governmental organisations and local municipalities for major support, management and privatisation projects. The firm also advises and helps to secure financing for international corporations seeking investments into the region.

EPIC has successfully launched three investment privatisation funds in the Czech and Slovak republics, with a total equity value of over $250 million. In Slovenia, three similar funds with over $100 million created the largest private energy fund in the Czech Republic and a Czech pension fund with ING Bank. EPIC manages these funds on behalf of more than 150,000 current shareholders and institutional clients.

In Russia, EPIC is the majority shareholder in EPIC Russia (formerly Sector Capital), co-owned with the European Bank of Research and Development (EBRD), Capital Research, Investicni Banka, Siemens, and others. EPIC Russia is a fully integrated merchant and investment bank in Russia which manages a direct equity fund, SCF ($50 million), managed accounts, and provides corporate finance and merchant banking services.

In Poland, EPIC is co-owner of Company Assistance Ltd (CAL), the leading management consulting firm which has, amongst other activities, assisted in the creation of Poland Partners, an $80 million venture fund. CAL is one-third owner of Trinity, the fund management company of NIF III, of which the other shareholders are PEKAO and BZW.

EPIC has recently increased its share in KINTO - one of Ukraine's largest investment banking firms - to 40 per cent, with a countrywide network of offices. The firm has gained extensive experience in Ukraine, including the launch of the Ukrainian fund New Ukraine Partners.

In 1996-97, EPIC opened offices in Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania. All three are actively pursuing major mandates, and privatisation voucher campaigns were undertaken in both Bulgaria (Nadeshda Fund) and Croatia (DOM Fund). EPIC was also one of the first investment banking firms to open an office in Yugoslavia, and in early 1998 EPIC d.o.o. was selected to advise the Government of Montenegro on the sale of state-owned assets.

For more information: European Privatisation and Investment Corporation (EPIC), Plosslgasse 8, A-1040 Vienna, Austria. Tel: +43 1 501 190 Fax: +43 1 501 199 E-mail:

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