HarbourVest To Buy Conversus PE Portfolio

HarbourVest Partners has agreed to buy the private equity portfolio held by Conversus Capital for $1.4 billion, or $22.11 per Conversus unit as of April 30. The deal is expected to hold an initial close during Q4 with subsequent closings occurring throughout 2013. In February, Conversus announced a review of strategic alternatives, including a possible […]

Conversus Names Brookes Head of Investor Relations

Conversus Capital has named Roger Brookes head of investor relations. Brookes has worked previously with companies including Bear Stearns, LCF Edmond de Rothschild Securities and Barclays. Most recently, he was in specialist sales at CF Partners, concentrating on sourcing and placing asset backed products. Brookes will be based in London.

Conversus Capital: “Like a REIT for PE Assets”

There’s more than one way to get a piece of the cheaper-than-thou private equity secondary market these days. You can invest in a traditional fund, like the ones I outlined earlier this week. Or, you can buy some shares of a public fund-of-funds that targets PE secondaries.

Conversus Capital is the largest such option. The firm underwent a $1.9 billion IPO in 2007, using the proceeds to invest in the secondary interests of 168 funds and has since added 49 for a current tally of 217 funds. The idea is that shares of Conversus give you immediate and permanent exposure to the secondary market, whereas an investment in a traditional fund is spread over five to ten years.

Today Conversus’ market cap has shrunk to $456.3 million and it’s written down the net asset value of its portfolio by 50%. However, the firm hasn’t seen its capital calls outweigh its distributions, thanks in part to its mere 5% allocation to mega-funds. I spoke with CEO Bob Long yesterday about market timing, mega-funds, his firm’s stock’s performance, and what happens if distributions freeze.

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