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European managers stockpile secondaries ammo

F&C and Altamar have both closed funds this week, as they seek to capitalise on emerging secondaries opportunities.

F&C Private Equity, the private equity fund of funds division of F&C Asset Management, has launched the Aurora Fund, a secondaries-focused vehicle that has held a first close on €30 million.

A target size for the vehicle, which will invest in secondary fund interests in European mid-market funds, was not disclosed in a statement released by the firm.

The fund has also closed its first transaction, acquiring the private equity fund interests of Landsbanki, the Icelandic bank that was nationalised by its government in 2008. The secondary acquisition includes the whole of Landsbanki Private Equity Fund I and a “substantial part” of Landsbanki Private Equity Fund II, totalling more than €65 million of original commitments, the firm said. It did not disclose what it paid for these commitments.

Landsbanki Private Equity Fund II, which has a number of Icelandic investors, will continue to be managed by Landsvaki, the Icelandic bank’s asset management arm, in partnership with F&C.

Hamish Mair, head of F&C Private Equity, said the transaction represented “a welcome opportunity to profit from the credit crisis.”

“The transaction has been complex but we believe it delivers a good outcome for all parties,” he added.

Altamar Private Equity, a Spanish fund of funds manager, has meanwhile just held a final close on its fourth fund, Altamar Secondary Opportunities IV, which will be its first to exclusively target secondaries. It has raised €65 million exclusively from Spanish institutional investors.

Altamar will add this latest €65 million to the €80 million of dry powder it still has available from previous funds to pursue global secondaries investments.

The two fundraisings follow news that Partners Group, the Swiss alternatives manager has raised €2.5 billion for its latest secondaries vehicle.