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HarbourVest continues Ironbridge restructuring

HarbourVest has acquired stakes in Ironbridge Fund II from Portfolio Advisors and a Portfolio Advisors' joint venture with Singapore-based United Overseas Bank.

HarbourVest Partners has acquired stakes in Australia-based Ironbridge Capital’s Fund II from Portfolio Advisors and a group of Asian banks, according to a UK regulatory notice.

Last May, Secondaries Investor learned HarbourVest was working on a restructuring process for Ironbridge. The firm planned to offer limited partners in Ironbridge Fund I and Fund II the option of leaving or joining a newly capitalised vehicle.

HarbourVest has since acquired stakes in Fund II from Portfolio Advisor’s Secondary Fund, a 2008 vintage $1.1 billion vehicle, and a pair of joint venture funds between Portfolio Advisors and Singapore-based United Overseas Bank. UOB Portfolio Advisors Pan Asia Select Fund I closed on $190 million in 2007 and Fund II closed on $300 million in 2009, according to PEI’s Research and Analytics division.

The Norinchukin Bank, a Japanese cooperative bank that services agricultural, fishing and forestry co-ops was also part of the group of sellers in the HarbourVest deal, according to the regulatory filing.

Both HarbourVest and Portfolio Advisors were unavailable to comment by press time.

Ironbridge Fund II closed on AUD $1.05 billion ($990 million; €760 million) in 2006. Other limited partners in the fund include Liberty Mutual Insurance and Adveq, according to PEI data.

Ironbridge has been attempting a restructuring of its funds since early 2013 after interest for a proposed $1 billion Fund III failed.The firm has struggled with some of its investments, including New Zealand-based MediaWorks which was placed in receivership with a financial advisory firm because of its overwhelming debt burden, Secondaries Investor’s sister publication Private Equity International reported last year.

Ironbridge was listed on Setter Capital’s list of the most sought-after Asian funds for the second quarter this year. The firm was ranked ‘very good’ and had 20 or more interested buyers, according to the rankings.

Still, Ironbridge sealed two exits in 2013, selling waste recovery business Global Renewables in a deal valued at about A$170 million and waste management business EnviroWaste in a deal valued at NZ$500 million ($405 million; €297 million).

Ironbridge did not return a request for comment by press time.

HarbourVest acquired the Ironbridge stake using capital from several funds, including its Dover Street VIII, a secondaries vehicle that closed on $3.6 billion in June 2013. Other funds include the firm’s $1.4 billion Fund IX-Buyout Fund and Fund XI’s venture and credit opportunities vehicles.

Meranti Holdings, a Hong Kong joint venture, was also involved as a buyer in the transaction, according to the regulatory notice.

Other LPs to have exited their stakes in Ironbridge Fund II include Italy-based Generali Global Private Equity which sold its stake to Lexington Partners in October 2013 and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System which sold its stake to Pantheon Ventures in August 2012, according to UK regulatory notices.