Coller Takes 24% Stake in SVG Capital

LONDON (Reuters) – SVG Capital, a London-listed private equity fund and main investor in European buyout firm Permira PERM.UL, said that private equity investor Coller Capital has bought a 23.9 percent stake it.

The unlisted Coller, which specialises in buying second-hand assets from other private equity investors as opposed to investing directly in funds, declined to comment.

SVG said in a statement issued late on Thursday afternoon to the London Stock Exchange (LSE) that Coller had bought 50 million pounds ($72.25 million) worth of company shares, giving it a 23.9 percent stake.

SVG issued a statement earlier in the week saying that it had successfully completed a 70 million pound private placing as part of a 200 million capital raising, which will also include a rights issues targeting up to 139 million.

The rights issue, which is reserved for existing shareholders and in which Coller cannot participate, will dilute its stake in SVG to between 14 percent and 19 percent.

In December, SVG capped its commitments to Permira’s fourth buyout fund and announced its capital raising plans as it sought to redress the imbalance between its cash reserves and future anticipated capital calls.

“They are very pleased at the support they have received from new and existing investors participating in the fund raising,” said a spokesman for SVG.

SVG declined to comment on an article in the Financial Times on Friday that said Coller may seek to acquire SVG’s assets or use its position to force SVG to go into run-off, stopping new investments and returning all cash from existing investments to shareholders.

The spokesman said SVG has a “great portfolio of high-quality assets” trading at a significant discount to net asset value (NAV).

At 1312 GMT shares in SVG were down 0.5 percent at 98.5 pence, compared with NAV of 413 pence as at Nov. 30 and a placement price of 100 pence. ($1=.6920 Pound)

By Simon Meads

(Reporting by Simon Meads; editing by Karen Foster)