Charterhouse closes Goldman-anchored pharma continuation fund deal

The process is understood to have also involved Charterhouse's latest fund in market acquiring a portion of pharmaceutical group SERB.

Charterhouse Capital Partners, one of the UK’s oldest private equity firms, has closed its second continuation fund this year, attracting backing from Goldman Sachs Asset Management, CPP Investments and Hamilton Lane.

The London-headquartered firm moved speciality pharmaceutical group SERB out of its 2016 Charterhouse Capital Partners X fund into a separate vehicle, according to four sources familiar with the matter. The continuation fund was initially worth around €500 million and its ultimate size was increased to around €700 million post-closing after SERB’s May agreement to acquire the US rights to Bentracimab, a blood-thinning reduction drug, Secondaries Investor understands.

A total of 16 investors backed the continuation fund, with Goldman’s Vintage team understood to have anchored the deal and CPPIB and Hamilton Lane as co-leads.

As part of the process, Charterhouse Capital Partners XI – which is in market seeking €2.5 billion, according to data from affiliate title Private Equity International – also acquired a portion of SERB, per one of the sources. Co-investors holding direct stakes in SERB, including Partners Group, maintained their exposure to the asset, according to two of the sources.

Fund XI has been in the market since 2020, according to PEI data.

Flow Advisors advised on the transaction, with Edmond de Rothschild also providing asset-level advice on SERB and Simpson, Thacher and Bartlett providing legal counsel, Secondaries Investor understands.

Pricing details and the valuation date used in the transaction are unclear.

Healthcare assets make up a meaningful proportion of continuation fund opportunities, market participants have told Secondaries Investor. Many assets within the sector have strong downside protection and meaningful upside potential with a strong pipeline of potential exit avenues. This combination ticks a large majority of secondaries buyers’ boxes for due diligence.

Under Charterhouse’s ownership since 2017, SERB, which manages a portfolio of branded and generic medicines across emergency care, diagnostic colouring, neurology and endocrinology, has completed nine strategic acquisitions. These include BTG Specialty Pharmaceuticals in 2020, according to a source familiar with the transaction.

The continuation fund will help Belgium-headquartered SERB with its growth and expansion strategy, including capital for further acquisitions, according to the source.

The transaction comes after Charterhouse’s single-asset process this year on French telecommunications group Sagemcom, which was backed by AlpInvest Partners, as reported by Unquote.

Charterhouse, Goldman, CPP Investments, Hamilton Lane, Flow Advisors and Simpson Thacher all declined to comment. Spokespeople for Edmond de Rothschild did not return a request for comment.

– Madeleine Farman contributed to this report.