In the News

Cartesian Royalty Holdings
Interview of Managing Director of Orinoco Gold, Near-Term Producer

Formal Execution of Cascavel Funding; Construction Startup Imminent

Flemingo International
Flemingo wins Gulf Air inflight supply contract

Cruise coup: Harding Retail merges with Flemingo International

Pangaea Logistics Solutions (fka Bulk Partners)
Pangaea Logistics Solutions Announces Ten-Year Contract Extension

Pangaea Logistics Solutions Announces Long-Term Contract of Affreightment Utilizing Ice-Class Vessels

Waypoint Leasing Holdings, Ltd.
Waypoint Leasing hits 100 helicopter milestone

Waypoint Looks To Expand In Asia From Singapore Office

Intercontinental Potash Corp. (USA)
Cartesian invests in IC Potash subsidiary

KIO Networks finalizes acquisition of redIT

Pangaea Wireless
May 2014
Latin America: the U.S. Tower Industry in Fast Forward

Circle K Mexico
Mexico's Modelo Sells Convenience Stores to Circle K Franchisee

Grupo Ser Educacional
Ser Educacional capta até R$ 619,43 milhões em IPO

Moscow Exchange
Moscow bourse raises $500m in IPO

Baoxin Auto Group Ltd.
Baoxin Auto Unveils Blueprint for Automobile O2O Platform

China Baoxin Auto to buy NCGA dealership group for $305 million

POLAR EXPRESS A journey through the melting Arctic, with sixty-odd thousand tons of iron ore
December 24, 2012
The New Yorker
by Keith Gessen

Read the full article at:

Burger King China
June 18, 2012
Burger King Forms Deal to Expand in China

Burger King to open 1,000 stores in China

Burger King eyes China expansion

A thousand Burger Kings to bloom

Turkish restaurant chain sells shares to Cartesian
March 23, 2011
Hürriyet Daily News - ISTANBUL

TAB Gida, the national representative and master franchisee of Burger King, Popeyes, Sbarro and Arby's, has sold a small part of its shares to Cartesian Capital Group, a global private equity firm, according to a written statement from TAB Gida published Wednesday.

The Kurdoglu and Üründül families, who held full shares of TAB Gida, established a strong global company in Turkey, said Erhan Kurdoglu, deputy chairman of TAB Gida. "We've known Cartesian Capital Group for more than 10 years and we are well pleased with this partnership established. I believe that Cartesian will bring the strategic information and perspective that will help our company to grow faster and to open up the global markets."

"We will work together to straighten the leading position of TAB in Turkey and in the region," said Peter Yu, managing partner of Cartesian. "This investment is an important example of our target to create global leaders."

TAB Gida is the leading restaurant chain in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, with a turnover expected to reach nearly 1 billion Turkish Liras this year, the statement read.

"TAB Gida, the biggest franchisee of Burger King, is a crucial business partner of our organization," Jose Cil, head of Burger King's Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

The company, which operates more than 500 restaurants in Turkey, has at least one restaurant in 53 provinces.

Charting the Global Landscape—Peter Yu discusses the impact of the credit crisis across Europe, Asia and Latin America, and details how Cartesian mitigates risk
July 2010
Mergers & Acquisitions - The Dealmaker's Journal
By Ken MacFadyen

Peter Yu's career path into private equity didn't follow a traditional route. He never spent time as a consultant and didn't put in long hours as a junior banker. Before heading to Wall Street, he spent a good portion of his early career in Washington, notably as a law clerk under outgoing Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and then later, during the Clinton administration, as director to the National Economic Council, the White House office that develops and coordinates economic policy.

It's this background in diplomacy and compromise that prepared Yu for the challenges of buying companies and investing in emerging markets. He is not a proponent, for example, of seeking control as a way to mitigate risks. Rather, he takes the opposite tack, using minority-stake deals to align interests. This kind of "soft power" approach would make most PE investors bristle, especially in countries where the rule of law may not be consistent or entirely clear.

Download the full article as a PDF here.

Cartesian Iris Sees Opportunity in Natural Catastrophe Reinsurance
June 2010
Emerging Manager Monthly

Natural catastrophes seem to be front page news on a daily basis, whether it is an event such as Hurricane Katrina or the Chilean earthquake or more recently the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but what many investors should be paying attention to is the investment opportunities these types of events can provide.

Cartesian Iris manages an absolute return fund focused on natural catastrophe reinsurance that invests in industry-loss warranties, which are short-term investment contracts tied to the occurrence or non-occurrence of specified large-scale and low-probability natural catastrophes.

Cartesian Capital Group sponsored Cartesian Iris to provide superior risk-adjusted returns that are uncorrelated with all other asset classes.

"The non-correlation is the focus of our strategy and why our offering resonates with investors," said Chase Toogood, CEO of Iris Reinsurance, Cartesian Iris's Bermuda-based reinsurance company.

The multiple catastrophes early in the year led to the largest losses for a first quarter that the industry has ever seen, Toogood said, which in turn creates opportunities for investors with capital.

"Losses tend to increase the cost of capital. There is now less capital available out there for future risks than there was 6 months ago"- Toogood said. Consequently, the return on capital for certain risks has increased.

And for investors in Cartesian Iris, Toogood said they can sleep easy knowing that one major event will not bring down the portfolio, as it is diversified among regions, peril and structure.

"We diversify the portfolio by creating exposures across a number of independent events. This helps to reduce the downside risk for our investors," he said.

The firm's core competency lies in industry loss warranties. According to Toogood, a further attraction of these contracts is their reliance on a third-party index.

For example, Cartesian Iris might enter into a contract tied to the occurrence of a single hurricane that creates $30 billion of insured losses. If such a storm occurred-statistically a rare event-the contract would pay the counterparty (typically an insurer or a reinsurer). If no such storm occurred, Cartesian Iris's investors would reap a significant gain.

"By utilizing an index we are removing the indemnity and underwriting risk that we might have to a specific reinsurer or other counter party under a more traditional reinsurance contract," Toogood explained.

Prior to launching the fund with Cartesian Capital Group in January 2009, Toogood launched the catastrophe business in Bermuda for Credit Suisse. Within 4 months after launch, Cartesian Iris was able to raise $100 million.

"A decent beginning in what was a difficult capital raising environment," commented Charles Mixon, Managing Director at Cartesian Capital and a Director at Iris Reinsurance.

Cruising Into China's Booming Car Market
April 28, 2010
The Wall Street Journal
By Norihiko Shirouzu

BEIJING—Mark McLarty last October bought a controlling stake in Northern China German Automotive, a Beijing-based dealer group that sells BMWs, Mini Coopers, and Volvos. The company, which has a dozen stores in northeastern China, booked revenue of nearly $1 billion last year and hopes to top $2 billion by next year.

Read the full article at

In Their Own Words: Peter Yu Of Cartesian Capital
December 31, 2009
The Wall Street Journal - Blogs
By Shasha Dai

What are your feelings about 2009?

Our practice has always focused on long-term continuities and short-term dislocations. 2009 was full of dislocations — in financial services and beyond — and so for us this has been a year of truly extraordinary opportunities.

Read the full article at WSJ Blogs

2009—Private Equity's Most Boring Year. Good Riddance!
December 30, 2009
Erin Griffith

Peter Yu, Cartesian Capital
What will be different in 2010, for the industry and for your own investment activity?

For us, 2009 was a year of truly extraordinary opportunities: capitalizing on dislocations has always been our focus and 2009 was rich with dislocations.

The yawning gap that has developed between equity markets and economic reality will persist in 2010. (Central-bank-created liquidity is to investment-bank-created liquidity as methadone is to heroin: perhaps less toxic but causing equally severe withdrawal.)

As a result, investment opportunities in 2010—for value and growth-oriented investors at least—will generally be less attractive.

Read the full response from Peter Yu at

RPS Launches Global Platform to Capitalize on Outsourced Clinical Trials
December 2, 2009
Close-up Media

ReSearch Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (RPS), a next generation contract research organization (CRO) and provider of integrated clinical development outsourcing solutions, has announced the completion of its global platform to provide integrated CRO services across four continents.

In a release, the Company noted that it has positioned itself to capitalize on the growth of global clinical trials. PharmaVoice reported that up to 65 percent of FDA-regulated clinical trials in the next three years will be conducted outside of the United States, with Asia as one of the primary regions.

In creating its global platform, RPS said that it recently incorporated its subsidiaries in more than 30 countries throughout the world, including Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. The company also recently completed its acquisition of Paramax International (Beijing), Inc., a specialized contract research organization operating in China.

"Asia -- and China in particular -- is critically important to our clients," noted Dan Perlman, Chairman and CEO of RPS. "Our acquisition of Paramax, along with the expansion of our unique service offerings throughout Asia provides deep local presence, which combined with our world-class platform enables us to serve our clients in a highly efficient manner. We have already begun to see significant revenue growth throughout the region."

In the past 12 months, RPS added that it has also strengthened its platform and local expertise in Europe through strategic acquisitions of CROs in France, Spain, and Germany.

"RPS offers comprehensive and customized solutions for the pharmaceutical industry," said Peter Yu, Managing Partner of Cartesian Capital Group and an RPS Board member. "We see an extraordinary need and demand for RPS' offering around the world, especially as the outsourcing of clinical trials is growing. The Paramax acquisition and the recent global expansion of its platform will ensure that RPS clients receive the highest quality integrated CRO services wherever they need it."

(Comments on this story may be sent to [email protected])

Cartesian's Contract Research Platform Goes Further Into Asia
December 2, 2009
By Beina Xu
Dow Jones LBO Wire - Healthcare

Looking to further expand globally, Cartesian Capital Group LLC's pharmaceutical services platform ReSearch Pharmaceutical Services Inc. has deepened its footprint in Asia with the acquisition of Paramax International Inc., a Beijing-based contract research company.

RPS, based in Fort Washington, Pa., paid about $1.9 million in cash and stock for Paramax, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Cartesian first invested in RPS at the end of 2007 in a growth equity deal, according to Cartesian Managing Partner Peter Yu. The firm has worked to aggressively expand the company's global reach, completing deals for contract research organizations in France, Spain and Germany. Paramax is its fourth add-on deal.

The company had significant operations in the U.S. and Latin America, but the firm wanted it to go broader, Yu said.

"Our longer term perspective was that the world's pharmaceutical companies had to have CRO capabilities in emerging markets," Yu said. "If you look at the next 10 years of growth for these companies, they have to do few things at same time: increase their research development work, identifying new compounds, grow aggressively in emerging markets, and keep fixed costs in control. Those are all factors that favor growth for RPS."

For the three months ended Sept. 30, RPS pulled in $57.3 million in revenue, compared with the $44 million for the year-earlier quarter. Net income rose to $994,033 from $748,239. The company was listed on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange until September.

RPS is a portfolio company of Pangaea One, which closed in 2006 at $1 billion.

RPS Chief Executive Dan Perlman was not immediately available to comment.

Reach Cartesian Capital at 212-461-6363.

Five Questions With... Peter Yu, Managing Partner & Founder, Cartesian Capital Group
November 16, 2009
Buyouts Beat

Cartesian Capital Group is known for private equity investing in the aftermath of crises. Are you seeing opportunities now?

We do seek pricing inefficiency in dislocations. We were very active in Asia following the 1997 crisis, in Russia after the ruble devaluation, in the airline industry after the tragedies of 9/11, in telecoms following the 2001 bubble and in Latin America in 2003. Consistent with this strategy, in this past year we made investments in financial services, in the automotive sector, and in dry bulk shipping—all sectors suffering notable dislocations.

Read the full article at

In Emerging Markets, Investing Still Comes At A Price
September 18, 2009
By Beina Xu
Dow Jones

As much as emerging markets have been the tortoise in the race to rebound from the recession, investors in the sector still have to tread carefully about what they invest in, and where.

Markets like India and China have come back with relative resilience; capital markets in both countries have shown upside with increased IPO sightings. But many risk profiles still remain challenging for investors to grapple with, including pricing, regulation, corruption worries, and as always, cultural differences, according to a panel at the Dow Jones Private Equity Analyst Conference in New York on Thursday.

"It pays to be highly selective in emerging markets," said Jonathon Bond, a partner with London-based Actis.

But it also pays to be an emerging market company. Pricing has become increasingly competitive – a premium that many private equity investors seem more willing to pay for entry into the market. Bond cited a deal Actis closed in Egypt for a 10% stake in a top bank for which it paid a little over two times book value.

"Most thoughtful investors are beginning to say that since it's about growth, perhaps it's appropriate to pay higher prices for smaller returns," he said, although Shailesh Dash, managing partner at Global Capital Management, said not all emerging markets were necessarily trading at that level.

What investors need to look for is inefficiencies in pricing, rather than chasing the efficiencies, according to Cartesian Capital Group's Peter Yu. The firm had funded an airline after 9-11, bought assets from Enron and Worldcom and most recently purchased shares in Citibank.

And the best niches are still the most expensive. Bond said his firm "still likes the Chinese consumer story," as well as the Indian consumer market, but that both were very fully priced. North Africa and Brazil were also selectively attractive.

"Now we're trying to recognize that we're living in a world of permanently higher pricing," Bond said. "Although the heat map may guide you on the macro level, it's now down to the GP to really build on sector expertise, location expertise. The growth is there, it's just about what price you're getting to pay to get on the escalator."

Overall, minority investments are the preferred path for myriad reasons, most notably regulation and cultural gaps, according to panelists. Out of the past 70 deals Actis has done in the last 10 years, around two-thirds have been minority, according to Bond. Yu said Cartesian has always preferred minority control with 40% to 45% ownership and a "strong alignment in interest" with the company.

"Soft power in emerging markets in PE is the preferred path," he said. But for Dash, soft power can only go so far in countries where regulation makes leveraged buyouts nearly impossible.

Being slow helps. Cartesian has a "gestation" period per deal of around 11 months, which it spends building relationships with sellers that oftentimes back out by month three, Yu said.

"In some ways the phrase 'emerging markets' is a little out of date," Yu said. "There's no one who'd rather land in JFK Terminal Three than Beijing Terminal One. The world has globalized – and the companies we select will be based on whether they're globally competitive."

Cartesian Capital Group Comments on Fondul Proprietatea's Selection of Franklin Templeton as Fund Manager
September 8, 2009

NEW YORK, Sep 08, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- At a General Meeting on September 7 in Bucharest, Romania, the shareholders of Fondul Proprietatea, S.A., confirmed the appointment of Franklin Templeton Investment Management Ltd as fund manager.

With a nominal asset base of EUR4 billion, Fondul owns stakes in more than 80 firms. Its holdings include significant positions in some of Romania's leading companies in energy and natural resources including Petrom, Hidroelectrica, Transelectrica, and Romgaz, as well as Bucharest Otopeni Airport and Bucharest Baneasa Airport.

The Romanian government created Fondul in 2005 in order to compensate persons expropriated by the former Communist government. Through a rigorous process, the government awards shares in Fondul to persons whose property was confiscated by Communist authorities.

Cartesian Capital Group, one of the company's largest private shareholders, praised Fondul's management and the selection of Franklin Templeton.

"Fondul is a unique investment vehicle," said Peter Yu, Managing Partner of Cartesian. "It serves the public good in Romania in so many ways, and is a showcase for the country's top companies and management talent."

"The selection of Franklin Templeton is an important milestone for Fondul," Mr. Yu continued. "Under the dedicated leadership of Chief Executive Officer Daniela Lulache and her team, and with the support of the Supervisory Board, Fondul has selected a world-class manager. We hope to work closely with Franklin Templeton to present Fondul to the institutional investment community and to help unlock the tremendous value in Fondul's extraordinary portfolio."

About Cartesian Capital Group

Cartesian Capital Group LLC ( manages $1.2 billion in private equity investments on a global and opportunistic basis. Founded in 2006 by Peter Yu, Cartesian has 21 professionals and offices in New York, Vienna, Warsaw, Bucharest, Sao Paolo, and Shanghai.

SOURCE: Cartesian Capital Group LLC

Cartesian Capital Does A Different Sort Of Banking Deal
June 11, 2009
Shasha Dai

Cartesian Capital Group thinks that U.S. banks are too distressed to risk its money there. So it looked elsewhere, from Ukrainian financial firms to Asian commercial banks. It finally wound up doing its first bank deal in Brazil earlier this year, leading a group that invested about $210 million into Banco Daycoval SA.

"We spent a lot of time studying every corner of the financial market," said Managing Partner Peter Yu. Yu, like much of his team, hails from AIG Capital Partners, and got a lot of experience investing around the world during his time there.

Yu said Daycoval is healthier than many of its U.S. peers, with a 24% capital ratio and an average return on equity of 20%. He thinks the bank has strong growth prospects too, given its location in one of South America's largest economies.

But Cartesian also structured downside protection on this deal that rivals anything the private equity firms investing in banks in the U.S. have been able to come up with.

Cartesian's investment takes the form of a certificate of deposit that yields a 15% return. In addition, Daycoval issued warrants for common and preferred shares. The warrants are exercisable after the second year into the investment at a price equal to Daycoval's book value as of Dec. 31, 2008, Yu said.

If the deal goes well and the bank's book value increases, the investors would redeem the CD – plus all the interest accrued – and exercise the warrants. If the investment doesn't go as well, the investors would hold onto the CD and redeem it at the end of the investment period.

"In a volatile market, there is almost nothing better than a five-year at-the-money option," Yu said.

Cartesian Capital Launches Reinsurer
Iris will provide reinsurance coverage for a variety of natural catastrophes.
June 5, 2009
By Kelly Holman

Cartesian Capital Group has formed Iris Reinsurance Ltd., marking the firm's first investment in the reinsurance industry.

The New York private equity firm, which manages $1.1 billion, has backed the launch of the Hamilton, Bermuda-based reinsurance company with an undisclosed amount of capital.

"You have an increase in demand and a contraction in supply, but the underlying risk of natural disasters remains unchanged," said Peter Yu, managing partner of Cartesian Capital.

Iris will provide reinsurance coverage via industry-loss warranties for a variety of natural catastrophes including earthquakes, hurricanes and wind storms.

The launch of the reinsurer couldn't be more timely.

The Atlantic Ocean is expected to spawn five hurricanes and 11 named storms through November, according to the latest data from Colorado State University.

Iris will led by an executive team that includes former Credit Suisse director G. Chase Toogood and G. Schuyler Havens, formerly the chief financial officer and head of corporate development at Freestone Capital Management in Seattle.

The investment fits nicely with Cartesian Capital's focus, according to Yu. "Our strategy over the years has been to look for long-term continuity opportunities and take advantage of market dislocations."

Yu served as chief executive of American International Group private equity unit AIG Capital Partners prior to launching Cartesian in 2005.

He will sit on Iris' board along with principals Charles Mixon III and Gregory Armstrong.

Kirkland & Ellis served as counsel to Cartesian, which also received legal advice from Bermuda law firm Appleby Global.

Iris is backed solely by Cartesian, which joins a stable of other private equity firms that have invested in reinsurance companies in recent years.

A syndicate of well-known financial sponsors that included Stone Point Capital LLC, Diamond Castle Holdings and Credit Suisse's DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, for example, launched Hamilton reinsurer Harbor Point Ltd. with $1.5 billion in 2005.

New Cartesian Business Finds Visibility in the Eye of the Storm
June 5, 2009
Erin Griffith

In a world of uncertainty, Cartesian Capital Group is betting on one thing it knows hasn't changed: natural disasters. This week the firm launched operations for its new catastrophe reinsurance business, called Iris Reinsurance. The business will be led by Chase Toogood, formerly with Credit Suisse and ACE Capital Re.

Read the full article at:

Private Equity Firm Launches New Reinsurer to Specialize in ILWs
June 4, 2009
Meg Green
Best's Insurance News

HAMILTON, Bermuda (BestWire) - Private equity firm Cartesian Capital Group has launched a new Bermuda reinsurance company that will primarily write industry loss warranties and has teamed up with Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. to launch a new investment fund focused on industry-linked securities.

Iris Reinsurance Ltd. is a class 3 Bermuda reinsurer and will write ILWs to cover a wide spectrum of catastrophic perils globally.

First time (re)insurance investor launches $100mn ILW start-up
June 4, 2009
Rebecca Bole
Trading Risk

Private equity firm Cartesian Capital Group has created a Bermudian Class 3 insurer – Iris Reinsurance Ltd – expected to offer an estimated $100mn in industry loss warranties (ILW) capacity. Iris is Cartesian's first foray into insurance-linked investing, a spokesman told Trading Risk. The global financial crisis and a surge in ILW rates – which have increased up to 60 percent this year – are cited as catalysts for the creation of Iris.

"The global financial crisis has created a true dislocation in the reinsurance markets," said Peter Yu, managing partner of Cartesian and director of IrisRe. "While the underlying risks remain largely unchanged, the financial crisis has fuelled both strong demand for reinsurance and a significant reduction in the reinsurance capacity of the capital markets."

Iris Re is believed to have $100mn in initial capacity, according to senior market sources. Although it will also offer other reinsurance products, it will focus on the ILW market.

Cartesian – a New York-headquartered private equity firm which manages $1.1bn in investments worldwide – has hired ex-Credit Suisse ILW trader Chase Toogood to manage Iris Re's ILW portfolio.

Previously, Toogood was with ACE Capital Re, where he specialised in structured products and financial guaranty reinsurance. He is joined by Schuyler Havens, who joins the reinsurer from Seattle-based investment advisor Freestone Capital Management.

Yu founded Cartesian in 2006, having left AIG Capital Partners with other members of the senior management team.

Although there is anecdotal evidence of ILW rates softening as 1 June renewals crystallise and it becomes apparent that traditional capacity is more plentiful than originally thought, ILW rates are still historically high.

ILW pricing in 2009 has increased by up to 60 percent on certain contracts, with rates on line for Nationwide US wind contracts tipping the 50 percent rate on line mark, according to the latest pricing data from ICAP-JLT.

Cartesian Forms Iris Reinsurance
June 3, 2009
PE Hub

Cartesian Capital Group has formed Iris Reinsurance Ltd., a Bermuda-based provider of industry-loss warranties. No financial terms were disclosed. Iris Reinsurance will be run by Chase Toogood (formerly with Credit Suisse and ACE Capital Re) and Schuyler Havens (Freestone Capital Management).


Cartesian Capital Group, a global private equity firm, today announced the creation of Iris Reinsurance Ltd., an authorized Class-3 reinsurer based in Bermuda. Formed in conjunction with Chase Toogood and Schuyler Havens, "IrisRe" will offer reinsurance primarily in the form of industry-loss warranties and cover a wide spectrum of catastrophic perils globally.

Read the full article at:

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May 2015, July 2015

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November 2014, June 2015

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May 2015, August 2015

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April 2015

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December 2013, December 2014

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November 2014

October 2014

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