Headway makes 2x exit on French animation studio

The firm, which focuses on smaller, more complex secondaries deals, has nearly fully invested its third fund and is halfway to raising a fourth.

Headway Capital Partners has exited its investment in a French animation studio from its 2012-vintage €175 million secondaries fund, the firm said.

Headway Investment Partners III, along with the other minority investors in Cyber Group Studios, was bought out by French investment firm L-GAM for a price  representing a 2x multiple and 40 percent internal rate of return, the London-based firm added. The new investor’s firepower will allow the studio, which makes animated films for children and families, to expand internationally.

Headway, which focuses on more complex secondaries and secondary-direct deals, bought a 10 percent stake in Cyber Group Studios in 2015, partner Christiaan de Lint told Secondaries Investor. The stake belonged to a local investor who  invested in 2005 and who needed to divest as its fund came to the end of its life.

“We were a bridge between a fund that needed to sell and the natural exit [that has just taken place],” de Lint said.

Headway Investment Partners III is nearly fully invested, de Lint said. The fund is expected to achieve gross cash-on-cash returns of as much as 60 percent. Investors in the fund include Central Park Conservancy, a non-profit that accounts for 75 percent of the New York park’s annual budget, according to PEI data.

In June, Secondaries Investor revealed that the firm’s latest vehicle, Headway Investment Partners IV, was set to hit a first close on at least half its target. The fund launched in February and is aiming for €300 million, according to PEI data.

Asante Capital is advising on the fundraising.

Headway was founded in 2004 and invests in direct secondaries, structured secondaries, GP restructurings, co-investment secondaries and traditional LP positions, according to its website. It specialises in deals under €50 million, with a particular focus on western Europe and North America.