Northleaf picks up Pantheon stakes from chocolate maker

The deal involves feeder fund stakes in two Pantheon secondaries funds and a fund of funds vehicle, UK regulatory filings show.

Northleaf Capital Partners has picked up interests in three Pantheon vehicles from the pension fund of a British confectionery maker.

The Cadbury Mondelez Pension Trust, which was acquired by multinational confectionery maker Mondelez in 2010, offloaded its entire stakes in feeder funds for Pantheon’s Global Secondary Fund III, Global Secondary Fund IV and Europe Fund V, according to UK regulatory filings.

The deals closed in late June. Pricing details were not disclosed.

The $2 billion Pantheon Global Secondary Fund III launched and closed in 2006, according to PEI data. It delivered a net internal rate of return of 2 percent as of 30 September, according to documents from the Islington Council Pension Scheme.

Its successor, the 2008-vintage Global Secondary Fund IV, launched closed in October 2010 on $3 billion, below its $3.75 billion target. It delivered a net IRR of 14.1 percent as of the same valuation date, according to the Islington documents.

The 2006-vintage Europe Fund V, a fund of funds, closed in 2007 on $724 million, above its target of $400 million.

Toronto-headquartered Northleaf used its 2013-vintage, $255 million Northleaf Secondary Partners fund to acquire the stake.

Northleaf has $9 billion in assets under management across private equity, infrastructure and private credit. In the firm’s 2016 Year in Review it announced that it was set to launch its sophomore secondaries fund and its seventh global private equity fund, Northleaf Private Equity Investors VII, in early 2017.

When Mondelez acquired the Cadbury pension, staff were told they must accept a three-year pay freeze unless they opted out of Cadbury’s defined benefit pension scheme, according to media reports at the time.

After the acquisition had closed, Mondelez, then known as Kraft, discovered a clause in Cadbury’s pension deed that made it virtually impossible to close the fund and deemed it unaffordable going forward.

Northleaf declined to comment on the deal. Pantheon and Cadbury did not reply in time for publication.