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Vision Capital exits portion of Nordax through IPO

This is the second exit through an IPO this year for the direct secondaries firm, which has had eight exits in the last 12 months.

Updated to reflect size of fund.

Vision Capital has exited a portion of its investment in Swedish niche bank Nordax Group after the banking group listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm on Wednesday.

London-based Vision Capital, which specialises in direct secondaries and fund recapitalisations, reduced its ownership in Nordax thanks to a SEK 5 billion IPO ($613.6 million, €541.55 million) in Stockholm.

The firm acquired a majority stake in Nordax for €105 million in 2010 through its €680 million Vision Capital Partners VII fund, according to a spokesperson.

Vision Capital will retain a 36.1 percent stake in Nordax through the fund, worth around SEK 1.8 billion, according to a statement. Combined, fund investors advised by Vision Capital had held around an 80 percent stake in Nordax since 2010, with the remainder held by the board of directors, management and founders.

“Since 2010 our teams have worked very well and closely together, and Nordax’s performance and sound capital position speaks for itself,” Vision Capital chief executive Julian Mash said in a statement. “We look forward to participating in its future potential through our retained investment and the continued service of Andrew Rich and Daryl Cohen on the board.” Rich and Cohen are both partners at Vision Capital, according to the firm’s website.

This is the second exit through an IPO this year for Vision Capital, which has had eight exits in the last 12 months. The firm had acquired Elegant Hotels Group in 2004 through its VCP IV fund, and retained a 23.8 percent stake in the group after it listed on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market in an £88.8 million IPO in May.

When asked whether IPOs were Vision Capital’s preferred exit route, Mash told sister publication Private Equity International: “Our view on exits is it’s what makes sense for the business, us and the shareholders.” He added that the IPO window had not always been open and the majority of the firm’s exits have been through trade sales.

Adjusted operating profit for Nordax in the twelve months to 31 March 2015 was SEK 374 million, having almost trebled from SEK 128 million in the five years since Vision Capital acquired the banking group, according to the statement.