UK – Mercury Private Equity, the London based venture capital outfit, which was spun off from Mercury Asset Management last year, has renamed itself HgCapital.

The firm has also appointed Leonard Licht, a former vice chairman of Mercury Asset Management as its chairman.

Specialising in healthcare, business services and media and information technology sectors, HgCapital has an office in Frankfurt and plans to extend its presence into the French market next year with a Paris operation.

The company says the new name, which was chosen as part of an industry competition, reflects both its historic ties to Mercury through the chemical symbol for the element, as well as its aims of producing high growth investment figures - the‘Hg’ acronym.

Ian Armitage, chief executive of HgCapital, comments: “We will build on our newly acquired independent status, expanding our business further into the European arena. We are confident of an active year with strong investment opportunities in companies that are being more realistically valued.”

The firm manages over e1bn in private equity funds.