SVG Capital says Goldman, CPPIB propose to buy portfolio: Reuters

U.K. private equity firm SVG Capital Plc said on Wednesday it received a proposal from a consortium that included Goldman Sachs Group Inc and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) to acquire its investment portfolio.

SVG, which is fending off a US$1.35 billion bid from U.S. rival HarbourVest, said it was “urgently” evaluating the proposal.

The statement comes a day after SVG said it would sell half of its investment portfolio for 379 million pounds (US$483.11 million) and wind down operations by the end of 2017.

SVG said winding down would be a better option for its shareholders rather than accepting the HarbourVest offer.

The company’s move to wind down received backing from Standard Life Investments, which holds a 2 percent stake.

Standard Life supported the SVG board’s recommendation to maximize shareholder value by liquidating the portfolio in an orderly manner, a representative of the British insurer and asset manager said in an e-mail.

Following SVG’s statement, HarbourVest said late on Wednesday that Aviva Investors and Legal & General Investment Management, which together own about 7.3 percent of SVG’s shares, had withdrawn their letters of intent to vote in favour of its offer.

The Boston-based PE firm said earlier in the day that its offer gave the British company’s shareholders a “clean break”, compared with the risks associated with winding down operations.

SVG also said on Tuesday it had in-principle agreed to sell half of its investment portfolio to Pomona Capital and Pantheon Ventures at a 7.8 percent discount.

If that sale goes through, shareholders should get 288 pence per share in November and another 192 pence per share early in 2017, Liberum analysts wrote in a note on Wednesday.

SVG’s shares were down 0.3 percent at 672 pence on the London Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri and Sriraj Kalluvila)

(This story has been edited by Kirk Falconer, editor of PE Hub Canada)

Photo courtesy of Reuters/Toby Melville