Swiss fund of funds manager Akina has invested about two-thirds of its dedicated secondaries vehicle as the firm uses consolidated deals to compete against larger players in the market.
The firm’s debut secondaries fund, Euro Choice Secondary, is in the middle of a €7 million to €10 million deal in a buyout fund based in the German-speaking region, Christian Böhler, the principal in charge of secondaries at Akina, told Secondaries Investor. The €224 million fund has made around six to eight deals so far and is looking to make 10 to 12 deals in total, he said.
In July, Akina bought five stakes in a WHEB Partners cleantech fund through Euro Choice Secondary from five individual investors, as Secondaries Investor reported. The firm bought the stakes at a 20 percent discount to net asset value (NAV) and was able to achieve the large discount through a consolidated deal in which Akina bought several stakes in the same fund from several different sellers, Böhler said.
“For us, single, relatively simple, straight-cash, large LP stakes are currently typically overpriced, so this puts us in a corner where we need to act differently and look at more complex and creative deals,” he said. Akina’s secondaries strategy has shifted towards more complex transactions such as the WHEB deal, he said.
Consolidating bids with a group of smaller investors such as family offices and private investors allows Akina to compete with the large secondaries players, who do not invest in small single deals, Böhler said. “It’s one of the niches where you can still find good performance in the secondaries market.”
Akina, which also makes secondaries purchases through its non-dedicated secondaries funds, completed a more than €40 million deal through Euro Choice Secondary and Euro Choice VI, a fund of funds and co-investment vehicle at the beginning of the year, Böhler said. The deal involved buying stakes in two Italian mid-market buyout funds.
Euro Choice VI was launched in April and has so far raised about a third of its €300 million target, he said. The firm plans to hold a second close within ‘a couple of weeks’, and a final close in the first quarter of 2016.
Zurich-based Akina focuses on investing in small- and medium-sized businesses, and its funds have received over €2 billion since 1999, according to the firm’s website.