Wellcome Trust proceeds with venture portfolio sale

The Wellcome Trust recently sold its stake in Amadeus II, which invested in fibre optics maker Southampton Photonics.

European charitable foundation The Wellcome Trust has moved forward with its plans to sell a $750 million portfolio of venture capital fund stakes, Secondaries Investor has learned.

Most recently, The Wellcome Trust sold its stake in UK venture firm Amadeus II to Auda International,  UK regulatory filings disclosed.

Amadeus II is a 2000-vintage fund that raised $335 million for venture capital and growth equity investments in Western Europe. Limited partners include Adams Street Partners, Ardian and Cipio Partners, according to PEI’s Research and Analytics division.

Fund II targeted the clean energy, e-commerce, hardware and software technology, media and medical industries. Portfolio companies include fibre optics maker Southampton Photonics, according to Amadeus’ website. The fund also made investments of about £50,000 alongside the Amadeus Mobile Seed Fund in the early 2000s.

Amadeus was unavailable to comment by press time.

Earlier this year Bank of America Merrill Lynch sold its stake in Amadeus II as part of a portfolio of tail-end fund positions it sold to Strategic Partners.

Auda purchased its stake from The Wellcome Trust using its Auda Secondary Fund III, which closed on $322 million at the end of 2013. The firm manages the secondaries vehicle from its New York office but has been building out its presence in China this year. In May it opened an office in Shanghai and earlier this month it appointed two new professionals to its Hong Kong office.

It is unclear which other fund managers The Wellcome Trust is divesting from its portfolio but it decided to sell the venture capital portfolio so it could concentrate on larger fund positions.

“The Wellcome Trust is on record in recent annual reports as pursuing a policy of concentrating holdings into fewer, larger positions,” a spokesperson from The Wellcome Trust had said.

The portfolio is likely to be split among several buyers through auctions led by Cogent Partners.

Both The Wellcome Trust and Cogent declined to comment.