Irish pension sells €800m portfolio

Lexington has won the auction for 24 private equity fund interests being sold to raise cash for the Irish government’s fiscal stimulus package.

Secondaries fund manager Lexington Partners has purchased an €800 million portfolio of investments from the National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) of Ireland.

The auction process began last September, according to an NPRF statement that noted the sale comprises investments in and commitments to 24 separate private equity funds from various vintage years. NPRF was unable to provide further detail on the underlying funds at press time.

The sale “was undertaken in the context of generating liquidity to facilitate the NPRF’s transition into the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, whereby its €6.8 billion of assets are to be made available for investment on a commercial basis to support economic activity and employment in Ireland”, NPRF said in the statement.

Financial details were not disclosed. However, two sources familiar with the matter said the portfolio was sold more or less at par to net asset values, with Lexington picking up little to no discount on the funds.

Lexington, which is said to be nearing a final close on north of $5 billion for its Fund VIII, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

UBS won the NPRF’s mandate to run the secondaries auction from among five advisory firms, the sources said.

UBS declined to comment.

Launched in 2001, NPRF’s aim was to meet welfare obligations and pay public sector pensions beyond 2025. It has roughly 33 percent of its $15.6 billion in assets under management allocated to alternatives.