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Wisconsin offloads private equity funds in $1bn secondary sale

30 Aug 2012

The State of Wisconsin Investment Board has sold $1bn worth of private equity funds, in one of the largest secondary sales yet seen from a US institutional investor.

According to Reuters, the main reason for the sale was that many of these funds were publicly listed. The report cited the state’s adviser, StepStone Group, which said, “Select mega buyout firms have embarked on initiatives that reduce the alignment of interests between GPs and LPs, including: asset aggregation and going public or selling stakes to third parties.”

The secondary sale included allocations to 12 funds managed by six firms including Blackstone, KKR and Carlyle, it said.

Reuters also reported that the New York City pension fund has sold close to $1bn of interests across 11 funds, as it seeks to bring its portfolio down to between 50 and 70 managers. It currently has 99 funds on its books.

The secondary sale include a $215m commitment to Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, $227m across two of Silver Lake Partners’ funds; $75m with Thomas H Lee Partners, as well as funds from AEA Investors, Ethos Private Equity, HM Equity Management, New Spring Ventures, Tailwind Capital and Vitruvian Partners.

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