Pantheon leads Avenue credit GP-led – exclusive

The deal gave investors in Avenue Capital Group's 2011-vintage Europe Special Situations Fund II the option to sell their stakes at par or roll over into a new vehicle.

Pantheon has emerged as lead backer of a GP-led process on a 2012-vintage credit fund, months after it emerged that the firm was considering raising a debt secondaries vehicle.

Investors in Avenue Capital Group‘s 2011-vintage Europe Special Situations Fund II were given the option to sell their stakes to a syndicate of buyers or roll into a new vehicle, according to two sources close to the matter.

Park Hill led the process, which closed earlier this week.

The deal was worth $400-450 million and the stakes traded at around par, Secondaries Investor has learned. It is not clear how many LPs rolled over, how many sold and which other firms made up the syndicate.

A vehicle named Avenue Pantheon Broadway was registered by Avenue Capital Group with the Securities and Exchange Commission on 4 March, with Park Hill listed as a placement agent.

Founded in 1995 by brother and sister Marc Lasry and Sonia Gardner, Avenue invests in distressed debt and special situations in the US, Europe and Asia. It has $9.7 billion in assets, according to PEI data.

Avenue Europe Special Situations Fund II raised €3.12 billion by final close in July 2012 against a target of €2.5 billion. Investors in the fund include Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement AssociationMassachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board and the University of Michigan.

It had achieved a 7.8 percent net internal rate of return as of 30 September, according to documents from Fort Worth Employees’ Retirement Fund.

In November, Private Equity News reported that Pantheon was in talks with investors about raising a private debt secondaries fund. It is not clear if that fund was used to back this deal.

Avenue did not wish to comment. Park Hill and Pantheon did not respond to requests for comment.