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U.S. Investment Firm Allies With U.K. Incubator Fund

U.S. investment firm Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group(FBR) this week forged an alliance with Dawnay, Day Lander (DDL), a U.K. venture capital company with an Internet focus.

FBR has purchased a minority equity interest in DDL and is to raise $20 million for DDL's Internet Incubator Fund. The two companies did not disclose any other terms of the agreement.

Led by Chairman Guy Naggar and Chief Executive Jonathan Lander, DDL supports promising U.K. and European Internet companies. It is advised by the research house, Fletcher Research, and has other partnerships with Arthur Andersen, Microsoft U.K., BBC Resources, COLT Telecommunications, and Harbottle and Lewis.

Naggar said that the new partnership with FBR would allow DDL to strengthen its ability to expand its venture capital and investment banking capability, while forging closer ties with important sources of U.S. venture capital funding and management expertise.

"While U.K. companies are no less innovative than their American counterparts, the market here is almost two years behind the U.S. in terms of Internet penetration and sophistication," said Naggar.

"As a result, investors now have a unique opportunity to participate in venture capital investments in companies with business models that have already been proven in the marketplace," Naggar added.

FBR, which maintains an office in London, currently manages $300 million in venture capital investments in four funds, one of which is similar in concept to DDL's Internet Incubator Fund.

"Establishing the FBR-DDL alliance is a natural extension of our expertise in the U.S. technology venture capital marketplace, as well as our existing London and European operations," said W. Russell Ramsey, FBR's president and co-chief executive officer.

When DDL launched its Internet Incubator Fund in July 1999 it was the U.K.'s first privately-financed incubator to be focused on the Internet. It offers a package of legal, accounting and business development services; office space; and computers with high-bandwidth access.