HarbourVest poised to move listed FoF

HarbourVest Global Private Equity Limited will move to the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange in September.

HarbourVest Partners plans to move its listed fund of funds HarbourVest Global Private Equity Limited (HVPE) to the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, according to a statement.

HVPE is currently listed on the Specialist Fund Market and is expected to move to the Main Market in early September 2015.

“This will give the widest possible base of investors access to high-performing private equity funds,” chairman of HVPE Michael Bunbury said in the statement.

Historically about 50 percent of HVPE shareholders holding A shares have been US-based investors. Since 2013 the percentage of US shareholders has declined to less than 50 percent.

“Consequently I am pleased to inform you that the Company is now in a position to move forward with this proposal and is continuing to work with its advisers to target a listing on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange in September this year,” Bunbury stated in a letter to shareholders.

A formal shareholder vote will be held in Guernsey in August and an introduction to the market will be held in early September, the letter disclosed.

Following the transition, HVPE will continue to trade on NYSE Euronext Amsterdam.

HVPE currently gives investors exposure to 723 private equity funds and partnerships and 6,377 underlying portfolio companies. The fund of funds also commits to HarbourVest’s funds of funds, secondary funds and a direct co-investment fund.

However, no HarbourVest commitments have been made since last October, when it invested $20.2 million across several funds. HVPE is a limited partner in HarbourVest’s last two secondaries funds: Dover Street VII which raised $2.9 billion in 2009 and Fund VIII which closed on $3.6 billion last year.

In October, HVPE also committed an additional $15 million in the HarbourVest Global Annual Fund, which is a balanced fund focused on primary and secondary funds and direct co-investments. Its total exposure to the fund is $100 million.

At the end of last year HVPE lost its chief operating officer Stuart Howard. He had joined the firm in 2012, after working at 3i Group for more than 10 years.

Peter Wilson and Brooks Zug, HarbourVest’s managing directors and the non-independent directors of HVPE, have remained involved in all aspects of the company’s business, as has Bunbury, HarbourVest previously said. Richard Hickman and Billy Macaulay also work full time on HVPE from the firm’s London and Boston offices respectively.