Ardian tender offer for Bridgepoint III receives tepid response – exclusive

The global investment firm's offer of par to 30 June NAV was not taken up by the majority of LPs, Secondaries Investor has learned.

Ardian‘s tender offer to investors in buyout firm Bridgepoint‘s 2005-vintage fund met a lukewarm response with a majority of limited partners opting to keep their stakes, Secondaries Investor has learned.

London-headquartered Bridgepoint selected Ardian as the exclusive buyer to offer liquidity to limited partners in its €2.5 billion Bridgepoint Europe III fund, according to three sources familiar with the deal. The process began in the summer and Ardian offered LPs par to 30 June net asset value, two of the sources said.

There was no minimum acceptance level attached to Ardian’s proposal and most of the LPs by number and value chose not to sell, according to the two sources. It is understood Bridgepoint did not hire an advisor to work on the deal.

“Bridgepoint continues to manage the Fund actively on behalf of all LPs with the objective of delivering further value to all the investors in the Fund over time,” a spokesman for the firm told Secondaries Investor.

A UK regulatory filing from July shows Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System sold its stake in the fund to Ardian’s ASF Phantom vehicle, though it was not clear if this was part of the tender offer.

This is not the first time Bridgepoint has run a secondaries process on Bridgepoint III. The firm ran a direct secondaries sale at the beginning of the year to sell stakes in at least four portfolio companies held in the fund. HarbourVest Partners backed the deal and Compass Partners International was hired to manage the assets, as Secondaries Investor reported. That deal was expected to bring around €400 million to LPs in Bridgepoint III.

Bridgepoint III had a 2 percent net internal rate of return as of 31 December, according to a performance document from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, an investor in three of Bridgepoint’s funds. It delivered a 1.4x return multiple as of 30 June.

It is understood the fund holds a handful of remaining assets.

Ardian did not return requests for comment.