Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Trio Capital: Under Construction

Monitoring how VCs and private equity players are reinventing themselves to play in the current economic environment is fascinating. Compare the website for Vengrowth today and 3 years ago, and you'll get a sense of the ongoing evolution. Others are still playing their cards close to their chests, but merit watching.

One of the lesser known stories of the last two years is that of Trio Capital. Trio is staffed by a group of ex-telecom luminaries, including Microcell's Andre Tremblay and Nortel's Pascal Debon. Trio partnered with the Caisse in 2006 to launch the Telecom Media Fund, an investment vehicle seeded with $200 million for telecom investments. The amount seemed astonishingly large for a group of first time fund managers. Their first investment was $50 million into Cellfish Media, followed by one other publicly announced deal.

There have been rumours that the direction of the Trio/Caisse partnership has changed, and its current "under construction" note would bear that out. I'd never count out Andre Tremblay, and so I'll watch to see how he repositions Trio - this is a team with the skills to make buyouts in telecom.