PEI Awards 2017: EMEA secondaries

Deal, firm, advisor and law firm of the year in the coveted awards for sister publication Private Equity International.




Secondaries deal of the year in Europe

  1. AlpInvest Partners,
    Landmark Partners,
    Lazard for Investindustrial
  2. Lexington Partners and Campbell Lutyens for BC Partners
  3. Ardian, Campbell Lutyens for Mubadala

AlpInvest Partners and Landmark Partners were rewarded for their role in one of the more unusual secondaries deals of the year. It involved southern-Europe-focused Investindustrial raising a fund to buy €750 million of assets from its own 2008-vintage vehicle. Believing that there was still value in the fund the firm transferred six assets into the new vehicle, a move that effectively amounted to a 10-year extension on the original vehicle. It was partly a response to increased competition from sovereign wealth funds, who can leave assets to mature for longer. AlpInvest became the majority LP in the new fund, with Landmark also backing the process. The innovative structure was formulated by secondaries advisor Lazard.

Secondaries firm of the year in Europe

  1. Ardian
  2. HarbourVest Partners
  3. AlpInvest Partners

Ardian continues to tower over the rest of the secondaries market. According to the SI 30, an annual survey published by sister publication Secondaries Investor, Ardian raised $31.6 billion in the five years leading up to August 2017, compared with $16.8 billion for second-placed Blackstone. Last year saw it participate in the largest stapled deal of all time – a $2.5 billion transaction involving sovereign wealth fund Mubadala – and set in motion the launch of an $8 billion mature secondaries fund for the second half of 2018. It was also very active on the sell-side, offloading $1 billion of pre-crisis stakes to CPPIB and around $1.5 billion of stakes to Strategic Partners across two transactions.

Secondaries advisor of the year in Europe

  1. Campbell Lutyens
  2. Credit Suisse
  3. Lazard

Few have done as much to promote the use of GP-led transactions as Campbell Lutyens. While North America was big on volume, it was Europe that led the way on innovation, due in no small part to the secondaries advisor’s influence. In April, the firm worked on the largest-ever stapled secondaries transaction, a $2.5 billion deal involving Ardian’s 2015-vintage ASF VII fund and Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala. Then in September, it managed a deal that saw BC Partners, one of Europe’s biggest private equity houses, run a process on its ninth fund and use a staple to help raise its €7 billion 10th fund, making it clear that GP-led processes are not just for those that are struggling. “We continue to see strong interest in the market in 2018, both in private equity and infrastructure opportunities, and we are focused on maintaining our flexible approach, working with both GPs and LPs across a wide range of mandates,” said partner Thomas Liaudet.

Law firm of the year in Europe (secondaries)

  1. Kirkland & Ellis
  2. Clifford Chance
  3. Macfarlanes

In September 2016 Kirkland promoted Ted Cardos to partner and charged him with leading the firm’s secondaries operation in Europe. The firm had won that year’s award for best secondaries law firm in Europe, so the pressure was on to keep up the good work. The numbers speak for themselves.  In 2017, Kirkland & Ellis advised on $963 million of European secondaries portfolio trades and more than €1 billion-worth of GP-led processes. Among the many deals it worked on was our European Secondaries Deal of the Year, the €750 million recapitalisation of Investindustrial’s 2008-vintage fund, which was backed by AlpInvest and Landmark. Kirkland has 250 dedicated investment funds lawyers, including 86 partners, across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.