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During December Columbus European Equity Fund Class I rose by 5.45%. Over the past 12 months the Fund has risen by 21.4%, and by 65.81% over the past 3 years. Since inception in June 2008, Columbus’ return has been 190.5%, comfortably exceeding the broad European equity index. These results have been achieved with a volatility of 10.75% over the last year, lower that the one of the European equity markets at 12.0%.

European markets bounced back convincingly in December as Omicron concerns eased and business confidence measures showed continued improvement. Unsurprisingly this led to strong performances from stocks in the Leisure and Travel sectors which had been hit hardest by the arrival of the new variant. This particularly benefitted our holdings in National Express (+20.4% in the month, UK listed public transport operator), Kinepolis (+16.7% Belgium, Cinemas operator) and Talgo (+17.9% Spanish railway operator).

The largest contribution to performance, however, came from our positions in Interpump (+8.1%) and VGP (+8.7%). Interpump, the Italian listed specialty industrial group, has been a long time holding for the fund and continues to show solid growth both organically and through M&A. We supported our position in VGP, the Belgian listed logistic property developer, during November as they raised additional equity for expansion. VGP has considerable opportunity for growth in our view and continues to enter new markets with their proven strategy. The main detractor in December was S&T AG (-23.1%), the Austrian IT company, which suffered from an aggressive short attack after an independent research group published a report outlining a range of issues from the past. The company quickly responded with a detailed rebuttal, but the damage was done for December.

It is always helpful to look back over the past year to review our holdings and track our decision making. The two themes which dominated investor attention through the year were the resurgence of inflation and, of course, the pandemic. Inflation, though much discussed, had little direct impact during 2021, but may well be a bigger concern over the coming 12 months. The pandemic, however, had a more material impact on the fund as a number of our holdings experienced weakness during the summer months when the expected rebound in tourism was curtailed by the arrival of the new variant. Happily most of these stocks recovered during the second half of the year to provide a positive contribution to performance.

Adding to this was the performance boost we received from having three of our holdings taken over during the year. It is a relatively common event to lose a holding to a takeover, but to have three in one year is unusual. Amongst these, the biggest positive impact came from Zooplus, the German listed pet products group. Over the course of the year the stock rose over 180% after the original private equity bidder was challenged by other interested parties and a bidding war ensued. We eventually sold the stock when this process was complete. Akka Technologies (French digital consultancy) and Zardoya Otis (Spanish elevator subsidiary) were also both helpful contributors to performance, with Akka in particular returning around 85% for the year. Our position in Liberbank in Spain was also acquired as part of a consolidation with Unicaja Banco to create a stronger, more sustainable player in the domestic Spanish banking market. The largest negative contribution for the year came from Neoen, the French listed alternative energy group which performed extremely well in the prior year but gave back some of this performance in 2021.

As we enter 2022 we feel very comfortable with the structure of the portfolio and the combination of both value and growth opportunities that we hold. Although some extreme points across markets, such as segments of the technology sector, appear expensive relative to historical valuations this is not generally true across much of the European market. We continue to find compelling investment opportunities in often overlooked businesses and feel confident of generating strong returns in the future.

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We thank you for your trust and wish the best to you and your families during these uncertain times.


Since June 14, 2018 both domestic and foreign investors have been able to access the Columbus strategy via the master-feeder structure between the Columbus 75 Sicav in Spain (feeder) and the Luxembourg registered Pareturn GVC Gaesco Columbus European Midcap Equity Fund (master). The Luxembourg vehicle offers both institutional and retail share classes.

During November the Columbus European Equity Fund class I fell by -3.2%. Year to date the Fund has risen by 15.14%, and by 21.2% over the past 12 months. Since inception in June 2008, Columbus’ return has been 175.5%, comfortably exceeding the broad European equity index. The volatility of the Fund over the last 12 months has been 10.7%, below the STOXX 600 index at 12.0%.

Grafico performance noviembre | Columbus

The weakness in equity markets in November resulted from the increase in hospitalisations across Northern Europe and the arrival of a new Covid mutation, the ‘Omicron variant’, which was first identified in South Africa. Concerns over the impact of the upsurge likely contributed to the fall in the German IFO business climate survey data, as businesses worried about the potential for renewed lock-downs during the important Christmas season. The news led to a general flight to safety from investors as shares in affected sectors such as travel and hospitality were sold in favour of the better visibility coming from the IT and pharmaceutical sectors.

Germany was the source of other important news during the month after the various factions of the new government reached agreement on their ‘traffic light’ coalition. Olaf Scholz of the leading SDP is to take the reins as Chancellor, ending Angela Merkel’s successful 16 year tenure in the role. Unsurprisingly the coalition is placing great emphasis on the climate, which was outlined by voters as the issue of most concern, but national labour laws are also likely to be an area of focus.

Within the portfolio, Auto Trader, (+ 20.9% in the month) the UK online car sales site was the strongest contributor after reporting an excellent set of first half numbers with revenue growth of 82% vs the weak 2020 early pandemic phase, but also 15% above the strong 2019 figure. The group dominates the car sales market in the UK and have been consistently able to expand along the value chain. Ageas, (+8.4%) the Belgian listed Life and Non-Life insurance business also reported strong figures, and despite the impact of some significant natural disaster claims, reiterated their earlier targets and those for their longer-term strategic plan. The company overall, and particularly the Asian business, continues to generate a strong free cash flow and remains under-appreciated in our view.

On the more negative side, Royal Unibrew, (-12.4%) the Danish brewer, gave up much of its earlier strong performance in the year after announcing the impact of higher freight and raw material costs in the third quarter. This has been a common refrain throughout the recent results period and unsurprising given some of the well-publicised global supply chain issues. We continue to see a very strong longer-term opportunity for the group and view much of the current margin weakness as a temporary hiatus while the higher costs are transferred into prices. We added no new names to the fund in November but added to our position in VGP (Belgian listed logistics real estate business) and trimmed both Interpump (Italian specialist engineering) and SIG Combibloc (Swiss packaging equipment).

Download monthly factsheet [PDF]

We thank you for your trust and wish the best to you and your families during these uncertain times.


Since June 14, 2018 both domestic and foreign investors have been able to access the Columbus strategy via the master-feeder structure between the Columbus 75 Sicav in Spain (feeder) and the Luxembourg registered Pareturn GVC Gaesco Columbus European Midcap Equity Fund (master). The Luxembourg vehicle offers both institutional and retail share classes.

During October, Pareturn GVC Gaesco Columbus European Mid Cap Equity Fund class I increased by +2.21%. The Columbus Fund has risen by +18.99% YTD, and by +41.64% in the last 12 months . Since its inception in June 2008, Columbus’ return has been +184.7%, comfortably exceeding the broad European equity index.

Following the sell-off in September markets rebounded strongly this month on the back of stronger than expected Q3 results season, led by the US. The gentle recovery in the Chinese market added to the risk-friendly mood as the problems at China Evergrande were at least temporarily alleviated, as did the Congressional renewal of the extension of the US debt ceiling.

From the perspective of the portfolio, the current reporting season has been relatively benign with October bringing a positive trading update from Elementis (UK chemicals) and improved guidance from Edenred (French meal voucher business). However, despite the generally positive tone across the market many companies continue to complain of high and rising input costs, near term wage inflation and ongoing supply constraints in a number of sectors. Many of these impacts are expected to be transitory, but the ‘transition’ phase continues to be extended with many commentators now expecting the trends to continue until mid 2022.

During October the strongest contribution to the Fund came from our largest holding, Interpump (+13.84% in the month) the Italian specialist engineering group, which continues to perform well operationally and announced a new share buyback mandate. The other strong contributors were VGP (+12.8%), the Belgian listed logistics facility group and Safestore (+14.59), the UK listed self-storage Group, which benefitted from the strong performance of property related businesses in the month, which led to global REITs being the second best performing category across all assets classes. The rise in inflationary concerns continues to push investment into real assets such as commodities and property. Indeed the fund’s structural underweight in the oil & gas sector partly explains the relative underperformance over the month. The most significant negative contributions in October came from Bodycote (-8.9%), the UK listed heat treatment Group. Bodycote suffered along with other automotive related businesses as the sector continued to be plagued with component supply shortages and is affected by the energy high prices.

Download monthly factsheet [PDF]

We thank you for your trust and wish the best to you and your families during these uncertain times.


Since June 14, 2018 both domestic and foreign investors have been able to access the Columbus strategy via the master-feeder structure between the Columbus 75 Sicav in Spain (feeder) and the Luxembourg registered Pareturn GVC Gaesco Columbus European Midcap Equity Fund (master). The Luxembourg vehicle offers both institutional and retail share classes.

During September the Pareturn GVC Gaesco Columbus European MidCap Equity Fund class I fell by – 0.98%, beating the -3.41% return of the STOXX 600 index. Over the past six months the Fund has risen by +13.49%, and by +34.34%% over the past 12 months. Since inception in June 2008, Columbus’ return has been 171.07%, comfortably exceeding the broad European equity index.

European equity markets traded down over the month as the sharp, early phase of the post-covid recovery slowed to a more normal rate. In addition, the ongoing concerns around inflation continued to gather support as energy prices rose further, leading to more public pressure for higher wages. Central bank commentary was incrementally more hawkish with the US Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England all now planning to reduce their pace of asset purchases over the coming months. Within Europe the much-discussed German elections proceeded smoothly with the more extreme parties garnering less support than some had feared. Although the result will lead to a somewhat complicated structure the broad approach of the yet-to-be-formed government is unlikely to lead to dramatic policy changes.

Grafico performance

Across the portfolio we again enjoyed a strong month of relative performance, helped by our third take-over in as many months. Zardoya-Otis has often been held up as a likely candidate to be fully absorbed by their parent company, Otis in the US. Following the spin-out of Otis from the United Technologies group in 2020 they were free to pursue the buy-out and delisting of the Spanish subsidiary. Zardoya was a relatively recent purchase for Columbus as we felt strongly that the valuation did not reflect the prospects of the business and that this would ultimately be resolved either by the market or by a corporate action. The other material takeover news over September was the continued increase in the bid value for our holding in Zooplus, the German listed online pet supplies group. EQT, a Swedish investment company slightly outbid the increased offer from rival, Hellman & Friedman, with a price of €470 per share – a noteworthy 69% premium to the closing price before the takeover proceedings began.

Unsurprisingly Zardoya (+25.85%) and Zooplus (+22.18) were strong contributors to performance in the month, but Kinepolis (+20.07%), the Belgian listed cinema group also performed well as investors begin to see the positive impact from audiences returning to cinemas. The most significant negative contribution came from Interpump (-6.98%), the long held Italian specialty machinery group. The stock drifted down with the market giving back some of the very strong returns from earlier in the year. This experience was shared by a number of other industrial companies.

Download monthly factsheet [PDF]

We thank you for your trust and wish the best to you and your families during these uncertain times.


Since June 14, 2018 both domestic and foreign investors have been able to access the Columbus strategy via the master-feeder structure between the Columbus 75 Sicav in Spain (feeder) and the Luxembourg registered Pareturn GVC Gaesco Columbus European Midcap Equity Fund (master). The Luxembourg vehicle offers both institutional and retail share classes.

During August the Pareturn Columbus European MidCap Equity Fund rose by 3.23%, surpassing the 1.99% return of the STOXX 600 index. Over the past six months the Fund has risen by 18.7%, and by 33.2% over the past 12 months. Since inception in June 2008, Columbus’ return has been 171.1%, comfortably exceeding the broad European equity index.

August is typically a slower month in Europe with activity levels reduced as much of the region takes a summer break. The surge in cases of the Delta variant in Europe and the associated travel restrictions likely reduced activity even more than normal during the month, although the successful vaccination programs thankfully kept hospitalisations well below prior levels. After the very strong industrial production growth through the spring and early summer it was not a surprise to see this number come down somewhat in August. The more forward-looking Composite Purchasing Manager’s Index also fell back from the high in July but remained comfortably in expansionary territory. The initial snap-back of the economy appears to be normalising again and as usual stock valuations led this process with many now trading well above pre-covid prices. As a result, stock selection is likely to be a bigger factor in outperformance over the coming year.

Following the take-over of Akka Technologies in July your portfolio benefitted from a second take-over in August; Zooplus, the German listed pet products online retailer. This was again the largest contributor to performance over the month after private equity group, Hellman & Friedman entered into an agreement with the company at a 40% premium to the prior closing price. However, the story has not ended there and a confirmed rival bidder, EQT, has entered the process at an as yet undisclosed level. Zooplus did not provide the only significant positive contribution in August, however, as our long-standing holding in Interpump (+14.34% en agosto),Italian engineering group, also performed well on the back of strong results and an analyst upgrade.

There were no material detractors from performance although S&T, the Austrian industrial technology group drifted down on no news only to recover much of the fall in the first few days of September. We made no new additions to the fund nor complete sales during August. While we have a number of interesting names in the pipeline, we remain comfortable with the balance of the current portfolio.

Since June 14, 2018 both domestic and foreign investors have been able to access the Columbus strategy via the master-feeder structure between the Columbus 75 Sicav in Spain (feeder) and the Luxembourg registered Pareturn GVC Gaesco Columbus European Midcap Equity Fund (master). The Luxembourg vehicle offers both institutional and retail share classes.

Download monthly factsheet [PDF]

We thank you for your trust and wish the best to you and your families during these uncertain times.


Since June 14, 2018 both domestic and foreign investors have been able to access the Columbus strategy via the master-feeder structure between the Columbus 75 Sicav in Spain (feeder) and the Luxembourg registered Pareturn GVC Gaesco Columbus European Midcap Equity Fund (master). The Luxembourg vehicle offers both institutional and retail share classes.

imagen ficha junio

During July the Pareturn Columbus European MidCap Equity Fund rose by 5.93%, well above the 1.96% return of the benchmark STOXX 600 index. Over the past six months the Fund has risen by 17.8%, and by 39.8% over the past 12 months. Since inception in June 2008, Columbus’ return has been 162.9%, comfortably exceeding the broad European equity index.

Financial markets remain in a tug-of-war over the inflation outlook with an increasingly hawkish investment community on one side and an immovable (for now) central banking response on the other. Those on the investment side who see inflation as a more transitory issue generally back the accommodative stance of the central banks and help to cause the sort of swings we are seeing in bond yields. Over the month, despite the current inflationary spike we saw US 10-year yields fall back to as low as 1.16% from 1.7% levels as recently as May. The effect of this fall is to boost the performance of the longer duration ‘growth’ stocks which again outperformed the ‘value’ segment over the month.

From our perspective we can see the transitory nature of the current pressures but are fully alive to the possibility of a more structural return to inflation as governments increasingly shift to fiscal policy to support growth. Our approach, as always, is to focus on what we know and can reasonably predict, and to limit the portfolio risks regardless of the outcome. We continue to invest where we see structural growth potential and advantaged business models, as well as companies with significant upside as the post-Covid recovery progresses.

By far the biggest positive impact over the month was the acquisition of Akka Technologies (one of our top 10 positions, 3% of Columbus AUMs prior to the offer) by the Swiss listed staffing group, Adecco. The bid took the stock price very close to our internal fair value for Akka and represented 100% upside for the month. Akka has been a holding, since 2017, for Columbus, which tested our resolve during the pandemic as the shares endured a period of weakness. However, after spending time (online) with the management team and revisiting our investment case we maintained our commitment and added to the position. So it was gratifying when the value we saw was also identified by an industrial competitor who was able to take advantage of the discount in such a decisive way.

The other very solid performances came from Duerr (+25% for the month), the German listed engineering group, and Borregaard (+22.34%), the Norwegian biomaterials company. Both groups reported strong results for the first half of the year with growth well above consensus expectations, and for Duerr a significant increase in orders.

There were no material detractors from performance this month although the financial holdings (Scor and Unicaja) drifted down in line with the fall in bond yields.

Download monthly factsheet [PDF]

We thank you for your trust and wish the best to you and your families during these uncertain times.


Since June 14, 2018 both domestic and foreign investors have been able to access the Columbus strategy via the master-feeder structure between the Columbus 75 Sicav in Spain (feeder) and the Luxembourg registered Pareturn GVC Gaesco Columbus European Midcap Equity Fund (master). The Luxembourg vehicle offers both institutional and retail share classes.

During June the Columbus Fund fell by 0.4%. Over the past six months the Fund has risen by 7.52%, and by 30.87% over the past 12 months. Since inception in June 2008, Columbus’ return has been 148.56%, comfortably exceeding the broad European equity index. 

The economic data across Europe strengthened further in June with the composite PMI achieving a 180-month high of 59.2 and further improvements in consumer confidence and manufacturing activity. However, despite this positive backdrop shares in travel and related sectors weakened over the month as Covid restrictions on travelling across the Continent were tightened in response to the rising incidence of the newer ‘Delta’ variant. We continue to believe in the reopening of the economies in the second half, especially in Europe where vaccination was delayed. Alongside the fight against the pandemic, inflation is the other focus of markets. Central Banks continue to reiterate their message that the rise in inflation is temporary and there has been a reduction in the yields of long term bonds. As bond yields fell the rotation towards growth stocks intensified this month while most cyclical stocks and those that benefit the most from interest rates increasing, like financials and energy, performed poorly.

The largest positive contributions for the month came from our long standing positions in Auto Trader and Interpump. Auto Trader (+11.34% in the month), the UK listed on-line motor vehicle classified business reported very strong results in June, both in terms of revenues and margins,  as semiconductor shortages reduced the supply of new cars pushing up demand for used vehicles. The company also improved their guidance for this year and reinstated the dividend. Interpump (+6.34%), the Italian based engineering group saw their share price rally following the announcement of a new acquisition in the US in the hydraulics area. Management called it “the most significant in Interpump’s history expanding our role as a global player in hydraulics”. We think the valuation paid is very attractive, slightly over 5 times EV/EBITDA.  Within the portfolio our holding in Dalata Hotels, the Irish listed hotel operator, was particularly affected by the Delta variant news, falling 15% over the month. While the delays to the resumption of normal tourist activity are obviously a short-term blow, we remain very confident about the longer-term recovery potential in this space and will use any weakness to add to our positions.

Download monthly factsheet [PDF]

We thank you for your trust and wish the best to you and your families during these uncertain times.


Since June 14, 2018 both domestic and foreign investors have been able to access the Columbus strategy via the master-feeder structure between the Columbus 75 Sicav in Spain (feeder) and the Luxembourg registered Pareturn GVC Gaesco Columbus European Midcap Equity Fund (master). The Luxembourg vehicle offers both institutional and retail share classes.

During May, the Columbus European Mid Cap Equity Fund rose by 4.01%, ahead of the STOXX 600 index which returned 2.14%. Over the past six months the Fund has risen by 13.6%, and by 33.7% over the past 12 months. Since inception in June 2008, Columbus’ return has been 149.8%, comfortably exceeding the European equity index.

Europe was the best performing of the major equity indices over the month, buoyed by the rising rate of vaccinations taking place across the region. Within the major European countries the run rate of close to 1% of the population receiving a jab each day has boosted sentiment regarding the potential speed of the economic recovery. This improving confidence was reflected in the Purchasing Managers Index for the services sector which far exceeded forecasts by rising to 55.1.

Although some form of travel restrictions remain in place across much of the continent there is a rising hope that tourism activity will rebound as the summer progresses. Concerns about the spread of newer variants of the covid virus did lead to some profit taking in the travel and leisure sectors, but this was more than offset within the fund by the very strong industrial recovery evident across much of Europe. This data drove up the prices of a number of our industrial holdings including Interpump,(+5.3% in May) the Italian high pressure pumps manufacturer and Senior,(+32% in May) the UK listed engineering group which soared after receiving a takeover proposal from Lone Star Funds. Senior’s board unanimously rejected the offer as it “fundamentally undervalued Senior and its future prospects”. We agree with the company.

The largest individual contribution, however, came from Bodycote (+12%, UK heat treatment) which also benefitted from an upbeat trading statement late in the month. The company is seeing improvement in revenue trends across most of their key markets and
benefiting from the restructuring achieved over the past year. The most significant detractor was Zooplus, the German online pet product retailer. There was no notably negative news for the company but it gave back some of its strong performance since the beginning
of the year.

Download monthly factsheet [PDF]

We thank you for your trust and wish the best to you and your families during these uncertain times.


Since June 14, 2018 both domestic and foreign investors have been able to access the Columbus strategy via the master-feeder structure between the Columbus 75 Sicav in Spain (feeder) and the Luxembourg registered Pareturn GVC Gaesco Columbus European Midcap Equity Fund (master). The Luxembourg vehicle offers both institutional and retail share classes.

During April the Columbus Fund rose by 1.20%. Over the past six months the Fund has risen by 23.56%, and by 33.26% over the past 12 months. Since inception in June 2008, Columbus’ return has been 140.41%, comfortably exceeding the broad European equity index.

The European equity market continued its positive trend through April although ceded its position as best performing region year to date as the US market benefitted from the huge Biden stimulus program, the American Rescue Plan. The slower start to the vaccination program in Europe has also weighed on the economy where we are seeing a slower recovery rate than in the US and UK, both of which have now provided a first dose to around half of their respective populations. However, activity in Europe has accelerated and the direction of travel is now very clear.

The most significant positive contributor in the month (+12.3% in April) was Royal Unibrew (Brewer, Denmark) which continued its positive trend from March, buoyed by a positive trading statement. Dalata Hotels (Hotels, Ireland) also performed well after appointing the new Chief Financial officer and providing an upbeat outlook for the coming season. AMS AG (Austria ,sensors) was a poor performer in April as rumours circulated of a possible large contact loss to Apple. The company reported in the last few days and cleared the uncertainty and the stock responded by rebounding 10% on the day.

Download monthly factsheet

We thank you for your trust and wish the best to you and your families during these uncertain times.


Since June 14, 2018 both domestic and foreign investors have been able to access the Columbus strategy via the master-feeder structure between the Columbus 75 Sicav in Spain (feeder) and the Luxembourg registered Pareturn GVC Gaesco Columbus European Midcap Equity Fund (master). The Luxembourg vehicle offers both institutional and retail share classes.

During March the Columbus Fund rose by 3.59%. The Fund has beaten the market both over a 12-month period (+44.61%) and since the market reached its lowest point on the 18th March 2020 due to the coronavirus-induced market crash (73.03%). Since inception, in June 2008, Columbus’ returns have been 141.36%, comfortably exceeding the broad European equity index.

Over the first quarter of the year, investors have experienced a sharp rotation away from the more growth-oriented sectors, such as Technology, into more cyclical areas such as Commodities and Materials. In addition, the focus has shifted towards stocks which are traditionally seen as ‘value’, a style that had consistently underperformed over the past decade. This notable change of focus stems from a combination of rising bond yields and an increasing confidence in an economic recovery as the global vaccination program gathers momentum.

As mentioned in last month’s report we have been able to take advantage of the performance of some of our longer-term holdings to switch into opportunities which offer a more attractive risk-reward. Amplifon and Avast, for example, were sold during the month and have provided a combined return of more than 90% since purchase. The proceeds from the sale helped to boost some of our exiting holdings as well as starting a position in DormaKaba, a Swiss listed access control group which enjoys strong market shares in the European lock markets and significant growth opportunities elsewhere, most notably in the US.

The best performing holdings during March were our two Spanish banks, Liberbank and Unicaja Banco which agreed a merger deal to form the 5th largest bank in Spain. Zooplus, the German listed online pet products retailer also performed strongly after releasing ambitious growth targets for the coming few years. That said, the bulk of the underperformance in the month came from only two stocks, one of which, Neoen, initiated a large capital raise during the month to fund the raft of opportunities they see ahead. The other, AMS AG, suffered in March despite no negative news of note. Beyond these outliers the bulk of the fund has coped well with the changes in the market, and we remain very comfortable with our positioning.

Download monthly factsheet

We thank you for your trust and wish the best to you and your families during these uncertain times.


Since June 14, 2018 both domestic and foreign investors have been able to access the Columbus strategy via the master-feeder structure between the Columbus 75 Sicav in Spain (feeder) and the Luxembourg registered Pareturn GVC Gaesco Columbus European Midcap Equity Fund (master). The Luxembourg vehicle offers both institutional and retail share classes.