SVG in talks with Goldman, CPPIB as time pressure mounts

The target of a £1bn unsolicited bid from HarbourVest, said it is in ‘detailed’ talks with the consortium just days before HarbourVest’s first close deadline.

SVG Capital is in “detailed discussions” with a consortium consisting of Goldman Sachs and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) over the possible sale of its investment portfolio, the London-listed private equity investor said on Monday.

Shareholders in SVG, the target of a £1.015 billion ($1.3 billion; €1.2 billion) unsolicited bid from its much bigger US rival HarbourVest Partners, have until the first close deadline of 6 October to accept HarbourVest’s 650 pence a share offer, so time is running short.

SVG’s board confirmed in a statement that it is in “detailed discussions with the consortium of Goldman Sachs and CPPIB in relation to a possible alternative transaction to the offer announced by HarbourVest…involving the sale of the Company’s investment portfolio”.

SVG did not name a further two parties which have come forward, saying only that it is in detailed discussions with the first party – which is part of a consortium – over the sale of “some of SVG’s assets”.

Yet a third party “may be interested in considering an offer”, SVG said.

SVG said it will release an update on the outcome of these talks Tuesday morning, and once again recommended that shareholders take no action regarding HarbourVest’s offer.

Boston-headquartered HarbourVest is aiming to acquire SVG using financing from its Dover Street IX fund, a secondaries vehicle that has so far raised $4.1 billion, surpassing its $3.6 billion target.

SVG shares were up 0.3 percent at 680.50 pence early on Monday.