Akina buys Innova fund stakes at double-digit discount

The acquisition was part of a large sale from insurance company Nationwide, which was rebalancing its private equity portfolio.

Fund of fund manager Akina Partners secured attractive pricing when it purchased two Eastern European funds, Innova/4 and Innova/5, from Nationwide Mutual Insurance.

“We had a good double-digit discount,” said Christian Böhler, head of secondary transactions at Akina Partners, adding that Akina bought the two Innova stakes based on March net asset value (NAV). The transaction closed at the end of September.

Nationwide, which tapped the secondaries market to help rebalance its portfolio, sold a larger portfolio with mainly US exposure, but Akina, following its strategy, only looked at the European products, said Böhler.

Secondaries Investors reported last month that Nationwide sold a portfolio of at least five larg- cap European funds to PineBridge Investments and the Innova funds to Akina, based on UK regulatory filings. Nationwide declined to comment.

The sale was the result of a large auction with Greenhill Cogent acting as advisors.

Innova/4 closed in 2006 with €228 million. Remaining portfolio companies in the fund are Romanian business services La Fantana, Polish internet service provider Benestra, Polish construction company Marmite and Romanian energy company Energobit. Innova/5 closed in 2009 with €388 million. Remaining portfolio companies in that fund are Marmite, Energobit, healthcare company Neomedic and financial services firm Provus. Akina was an existing investor in both funds, which are managed by Poland-based Innova Capital.

Akina’s second half of the year was a busy one, Böhler said. The firm has already closed about three transactions including the one with Nationwide and that it is currently in the middle of two other deals.

“Book values are in general still high, but due to increased market volatility driven by China slowdown and monetary policy uncertainties, valuations are coming down a bit, and sellers have become more open to selling at a certain discount,” he said. “Six months ago, they often expected a premium for quality assets.”