CPPIB leads $1.3bn JW Childs restructuring

The Canadian pension continues to be a dominant secondaries market player.

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is leading a group with “two or three” others to restructure JW Childs’ Fund III in a deal worth $1.3 billion, according to three sources with knowledge of the situation.

A portion of that amount was expected to support new investments, but it was unclear at press time how much and whether the GP intends to raise a new fund. US-based JW Childs reportedly pulled fundraising plans for its Fund IV in 2007.

The firm hired advisory firm Park Hill to run the restructuring process for its 2002-vintage fund in November last year.

JW Childs and Park Hill declined to comment and CPPIB could not be reached at press time. Goldman Sachs is also among the investor group according to a Bloomberg report, but could not immediately be reached for comment.

Limited partners in Fund III include HarbourVest Partners, which recently led the Cognetas/Motion restructuring, as well as fellow fund of funds LGT Capital Partners and secondaries-focused Pomona Capital.

Other investors include Cornell University, the University of Pittsburgh and US public pensions including the Kentucky Retirement System and Boston City Retirement System, according to PEI Research & Analytics.

It was unclear at press time how many LPs planned to sell their interests in the JW Childs fund.

JW Childs’ Fund III invested in US mid-market companies including menswear retailer Joseph Abboud and marketing agency Advantage Sales & Marketing. The fund’s five remaining portfolio companies include juice brand Sunny Delight and specialty retailer Brookstone. Fund III was producing a return of 1.4x as of 31 March last year, according to a report from Swiss firm Castle Private Equity.