PineBridge tries again to restructure CEE fund – exclusive

The firm is in late-stage talks with a potential backer to restructure its 2007-vintage New Europe Partners II vehicle, Secondaries Investor has learnt.

PineBridge Investments is in the latter stages of a GP-led restructuring process on one of its pre-crisis funds, two-and-a-half years after an initial failed attempt, Secondaries Investor has learnt.

The New York-headquartered asset manager is attempting to restructure its 2006-vintage New Europe Partners II, according to two sources familiar with the process. The vehicle, which closed on €523 million, focuses on central and eastern Europe, according to PEI data.

The firm is in talks with a buyer which has proposed pricing at around a 25 percent discount, according to one of the sources.

It is understood that Park Hill is advising on the process.

PineBridge has previously tried to restructure the fund in a process that would allow investors to sell or roll over into a five-year continuation vehicle, Financial News reported in August 2015.

The exact nature of the current process and how much net asset value remains in the fund is unclear.

Investors in New Europe Partners II include the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which committed €50 million, according to PEI data.

PineBridge declined to comment. Park Hill did not return requests for comment by the time of publication.

Private equity funds focused on Central and Eastern Europe were hit hard by the global financial crisis of 2007-08. Fundraising for CEE private equity fell from €4 billion in 2007 to €2.51 billion in 2008 and €378 million in 2009, according to data from industry body InvestEurope.

“Everyone made assumptions of incredible growth prospects,” Anne Fossemalle, head of private equity at the EBRD told sister publication Private Equity International in November. “With the financial crisis, it quickly became obvious that this was not going to happen. It had an effect on the entire chain: investors investing in the region, the existing portfolio and a huge impact on the exit pace of funds that were already invested.”

– Adam Le contributed to this report.