SVG agrees to new HarbourVest portfolio bid

The London-listed private equity investor has accepted HarbourVest's offer to acquire its portfolio after the global investment firm raised its offer by £24m.

HarbourVest Partners has beaten an offer by Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board to acquire the portfolio of London-listed SVG Capital, ending a five-week-long unsolicited takeover process by the global investment manager.

Boston-headquartered HarbourVest will pay £806.6 million ($992 million; €903 million) for SVG’s investment portfolio, representing a 0.6 percent premium to the vehicle’s 31 July net asset value. The firm had previously offered at least £783.1 million – a 2.3 percent discount to the same valuation date.

The deal with HarbourVest represents an approximate aggregate value per share of 715 pence, a 10 percent increase from its 650 pence-a-share initial bid for the company.

SVG’s board expects around £1.1 billion will be returned to shareholders through a series of tender offers and through the wind-up of the company, beginning with as much as £350 million returned by the end of the year, with the final capital distribution expected by the third quarter of next year.

Andrew Sykes, SVG’s chairman said: “After careful consideration, we are recommending HarbourVest Bidco’s asset purchase transaction to acquire the Company’s investment portfolio, since we believe it provides the most compelling combination of value and certainty of deliverability of any of the proposals submitted to the Company.”

The deal is still subject to shareholder approval.

HarbourVest Bidco, the vehicle used for the deal, announced it will not be extending its offer to acquire SVG itself past 1pm London time on Tuesday. HarbourVest had twice extended its deadline for shareholders to take up its offer and submitted its alternative bid for SVG’s portfolio after Goldman and CPPIB offered to buy the private equity investor’s assets for £748 million in early October.

SVG shares were trading at 702 pence as of 2:30pm in London on Tuesday, up 2.1 percent from the close on Monday.

“The transaction seeks to optimise the combination of value and certainty of returns to shareholders and we look forward to working closely with SVG Capital going forward to obtain shareholder approval and effect the transfer of assets,” David Atterbury, managing director at HarbourVest, said in a statement.