Coller pays £50m for 24% SVG stake

Secondaries specialist Coller Capital was the largest investor in the listed fund of funds’ recent rights issue, having picked up 50 million shares. The investment was made from Coller's fifth fund, which is around 55% deployed; the firm is expected to raise up to $6bn for Fund VI later this year.

Coller Capital has built a 24 percent stake in SVG Capital, the listed Permira investor, picking up 50 million shares at £1 each in the fund of funds’ recent 70 million share rights issue.

SVG, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, revealed in December that it would seek to raise fresh capital as part of a number of measures to shore up its balance sheet and ensure it can meet future commitments. The announcement followed an unprecedented move by Permira to allow cash-strapped LPs in its €11.1 billion Permira IV to reduce the size of their commitments – a measure widely seen as a move to aid liquidity-starved SVG.

Coller declined to comment as to whether the acquisition could lead to de-listing SVG, which has a market capitalisation of around £206 million, as it did last summer with the DFJ Esprit-managed Prelude Trust. Coller’s $50 million take-private of London-listed Prelude Trust allowed DFJ Esprit, which inherited the investment trust in its merger with UK technology investor Prelude, to focus on managing its funds in private – away from the public spotlight where it had traded at a deep discount to net asset value.

Like the Prelude deal, the SVG investment was made from the $4.5 billion Coller International Partners V fund, which closed in 2007 and is the world’s largest secondaries vehicle raised to date. With Fund V around 55 percent deployed, Coller is expected to raise up to $6 billion for its sixth fund later this year.

Since SVG completed its 70 million share placing on Tuesday, its share price has climbed very slightly from 97 pence per share to 98.5 pence at press time. Its shares, like most of those relating to listed private equity, have suffered severely in the recent downturn, losing around 87 percent of their value in the last 12 months.

SVG, whose portfolio is 82 percent invested in funds managed by private equity firm Permira, is currently undergoing a wide-ranging strategic review, the results of which will be announced at the end of April.