Verdane closes Fund VIII on €220m

The Nordic-based secondaries firm attracted 40% of its commitments from European investors including Swedish pension fund AP3, Finnish Industry Investment and the European Investment Fund.

Verdane Capital has closed its latest direct secondaries fund on SEK 2 billion (€220 million; $300 million), according to a statement.

Verdane VIII, which came to market about a year ago, held a number of rolling closes before holding a final close, Frida Einarson, director of investor relations at Verdane, told Secondaries Investor’s sister publication Private Equity International.

The firm didn’t work with a placement agent, but spoke to a select number of limited partners instead, she said. Many existing investors re-upped in the fund and the firm also attracted a number of new LPs, she added.

“One of our strategic targets was to become more internationally diversified,” Einarson said. “In our prior fund, 75 percent came from Nordic-based investors. In this fund, less than 50 percent of the capital is from Nordic investors. Approximately 40 percent of the fund commitments came from European investors, while the remaining came from the US.”

Verdane attracted a number of different institutions. “Endowments and foundations make up about 15 percent of the fund, family offices are just under 20 percent, approximately 20 percent of the capital came from insurance companies, 20 percent came from pension funds, and the remaining 25 percent came from government investment vehicles, banks and funds of funds, so we are very pleased to have such a diverse investor base,” Einarson said.

Among the investors were Swedish pension fund AP3, the European Investment Fund, French insurance company CNP, and Finnish Industry Investment. The firm put in a general partner commitment of 2.5 percent, she added. “We think it’s very important to be aligned with our LPs and most of the team contributed to that.”

The fund is Verdane’s largest vehicle to date. The fund will invest in Nordic companies with international growth potential active in information technology, energy and advanced industry. Verdane VIII has already invested in 16 companies through three different portfolios in Sweden and Norway, and is approximately 20 percent invested.

“The fund offers liquidity to sellers in a time-efficient way, and has the flexibility to buy a complete portfolio, parts of a portfolio or just a single shareholding,” Bjarne Lie, a managing partner at Verdane, said in the statement.

Verdane VIII is 30 percent larger than the firm’s prior vehicle. Verdane VII, a SEK 1.5 billion fund from 2009, is now fully invested.