Deutsche acquires stakes from Singapore seller

The deal includes stakes in Bridgepoint and Doughty Hanson-managed funds from a manager based in the southeast Asian city state that was the focus of a legal case.

Deutsche Bank‘s private equity unit has acquired stakes from a Singaporean investment vehicle that was the focus of a legal case involving $110 million worth of private fund investments.

Woolverstone Private Fund of Funds sold interests in Bridgepoint Europe III, Bridgepoint Europe IV, Doughty Hanson & Co. IV, Doughty Hanson & Co. V and Canadian fund Ironbridge Equity Partners II to DB Private Equity, UK regulatory filings show.

The firm also separately acquired a stake in GMT Communications Partners III from European Investment Fund.

A spokesman for Deutsche confirmed the deals.

Woolverstone was backed in part by two high-net-worth individuals, Wee Boo Kuan and Wee Boo Tee, who are nephews of the former head of Singapore bank UOB. In 2013 the two filed lawsuits against Woolverstone over claims that the fund manager had failed to keep them adequately informed about the investments.

A transcript of the case shows Woolverstone invested $111 million in 15 private equity funds. In July 2016, the Singapore Supreme Court ruled partially in favour of the defendants, Eng Chiet Shoong and Sylvia Lee Siew Yuen, who had initially been ruled against by a lower court.

“We remain steadily active in the secondary market with very opportunistic focus on select LP interests and GP-led transactions,” Carlo Pirzio-Biroli, global head of DB Private Equity, told Secondaries Investor.

Bridgepoint III is a €2.5 billion 2005-vintage vehicle that delivered a 1.3x net multiple and net internal rate of return of 4 percent as of 31 December, according to a source familiar with the fund. Bridgepoint IV is a 2008-vintage that raised €4.8 billion and delivered a 1.7x net multiple and 15 percent IRR as of the same date.

Investments from Bridgepoint IV include UK sandwich chain Pret a Manger.

Doughty Hanson’s fourth fund is a 2004-vintage €1.5 billion vehicle and Fund V is a 2007-vintage €3 billion vehicle. In January 2015 HarbourVest Partners led a restructuring of both funds, offering limited partners the option to liquidate their stakes at a fixed price set by the Boston-headquartered investment firm.

GMT Fund III is a 2006-vintage European buyout vehicle that raised €342 million, according to PEI data. Ironbridge Equity Partners is a mid-market Canadian investor which closed Ironbridge II on C$154 million ($115 million; €108 million) in 2014.

Bridgepoint and Doughty Hanson declined to comment. Ironbridge, EIF and GMT did not respond to requests for comment. Woolverstone could not be reached for comment.