Pantheon backs Idinvest venture GP-led

The deal gave liquidity to 40,000 retail investors who averaged a 3x return on invest, Secondaries Investor has learned.

Idinvest Partners has closed one of the first GP-led processes in Europe since the onset of the covid-19 crisis.

The Paris-headquartered manager transferred 12 assets from several growth- and venture capital vehicles into a five-year continuation fund as part of a deal led by Pantheon, according to a statement.

Exiting investors received €150 million as part of the process run by Lazard, the statement noted. Commonfund Capital as well as a European private bank and a global financial institution made up the rest of the syndicate.

Clifford Chance acted as legal advisor to Idinvest.

Ed Harris, Adam Brown and Leanne Moezi of law firm Paul Hastings advised Pantheon and the buyer syndicate on the transaction, a spokesman for the trio confirmed to Secondaries Investor.

Benoist Grossmann, managing partner at Idinvest, said: “We are pleased to be able to return capital in this difficult environment and provide liquidity to our investors and would like to thank them for their support over the years. In parallel, we would like to welcome our four new LPs to the Idinvest community and look forward to our future partnership.”

Music streaming service Deezer, smart battery systems provider Forsee Power and enterprise video software business Sightcall are among the companies in the fund, the statement noted.

The assets were lifted out of a series of FCPIs, French investment vehicles that allow retail investors to participate in venture capital with commitments as low as €5,000-€10,000, Grossmann told Secondaries Investor. 

The investors were not allowed by law to stay in these vehicles for longer than 10 years even though there were assets remaining, necessitating a sale.

The 40,000 retail investors made an average 3x return on their investment in the FCPIs, said Grossman. The price has not been disclosed.

Pantheon is set to hold final close on Pantheon Global Secondary Fund VI at the end of June, Secondaries Investor reported this month. The programme has raised $2.1 billion including separately managed accounts.

Idinvest has nearly €10 billion in assets under management across buyout, growth, venture capital and secondaries funds, according to PEI data. It is majority owned by Eurazeo.

– This report was updated to include details of the legal advisor to the buyer syndicate.

Read our Q&A with Jasmin Capital’s Ludovic Douge on the opportunity for FCPI restructurings.