Nationwide sells private equity portfolio

The insurance company unloaded interests in at least six European funds, mostly tail-end, to PineBridge and Akina.

Insurance company Nationwide Mutual Insurance has sold a portfolio of mostly European buyout tail-end fund stakes to two secondaries buyers, according to several UK regulatory filings.

PineBridge Investments purchased interests in EQT V, BC European Capital VIII-7, Charterhouse Capital Partners VIII, Gresham 4 and Dunedin Buyout Fund III, through its PineBridge Secondary Partners III.

Akina Group bought interests in two Poland-based Innova Capital funds, Innova/4 and Innova/5, through its Euro Choice Secondary fund.

Columbus, Ohio-based Nationwide, which sold some of the stakes through Nationwide Private Equity Fund, has ceased to be an investor in the funds it sold.

The size of the portfolio, pricing, as well as terms of the transactions were not disclosed. Insurance companies have had some regulatory pressure to sell, particularly in Europe, but it’s unclear why Nationwide decided to come to market with these fund interests.

EQT V launched in 2006 with €4.25 billion. It is invested primarily in the Nordic region as well as the rest of Europe and in North America. Some of its portfolio companies include Sweden’s education company AcadeMedia and Bulgaria’s telecom operator Blizoo. In September, medical devices company HTL-Strefa, which EQT acquired in 2009, announced it would soon launch an initial public offering on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. There are at least seven remaining portfolio companies in the fund, according to EQT’s website.

European buyout fund BC European Capital VIII closed in 2005 with more than €5.5 billion. It had a 4.11 percent net internal rate of return as of 31 March, according to documents from the CalSTRS. Stakes in BC European Capital VIII traded hands earlier this year when Pomona Capital sold its stake to Strategic Partners in April.

Charterhouse Capital Partners VIII closed on €4 billion in 2006, according to data from PEI Media’s Research and Analytics division. It’s unclear how many portfolio companies are left in the fund, which had a negative net IRR of 0.58 percent as of 31 March, according to data from the Washington State Investment Board.

Gresham 4 closed in 2006 on £340 million ($525 million, €462 million). Gresham is a mid-market private equity firm investing in UK management buyouts of up to £100 million. That was the last fund Gresham raised.

Dunedin Buyout Fund III is a much more recent fund. UK mid-market private equity firm Dunedin closed its third fund in July 2013 with £300 million. Some investments in that fund include Blackrock PM, a consultancy firm to the construction industry, and tech company EV.

Innova/4 closed in 2006 with €228 million. Remaining portfolio companies in the fund are Romanian business services La Fantana, Polish internet service provider Benestra, Polish construction company Marmite and Romanian energy company Energobit.

Innova/5 closed in 2009 with €388 million. Remaining portfolio companies in that fund are Marmite, Energobit, healthcare company Neomedic and financial services firm Provus.

Nationwide, EQT, Dunedin, Charterhouse and BC Partners declined to comment. PineBridge, Akina, Gresham and Innova did not respond to requests for comments.