Aberdeen PE offloads portfolio, prepares for liquidation

The listed private equity fund sold the $218m portfolio after a majority of shareholders said they no longer wanted to invest.

Aberdeen Private Equity Fund Limited, a listed private equity fund, has offloaded its portfolio at the behest of its shareholders.

Chairman Howard Myles said it had signed a sales and purchase agreement to sell its entire portfolio at a “modest premium” to the 31 October valuation in its half-yearly results statement.

As of 31 October, the net asset value of Aberdeen Private Equity Fund was £163.5 million ($218.5 million; €185.2 million). Its five biggest positions were in CCMP Capital Investors III, Apax VIII, Exponent Private Equity Partners III, Resolute Fund III and MML Capital Partners Fund VI.

The identity of the buyer, who was the highest bidder in a competitive tender process, was not disclosed.

Campbell Lutyens was hired to run the process.

The sale came after shareholders representing 69 percent of share capital made it clear at the annual general meeting that they no longer wished to be invested. The move to sell is to “meet the aspirations of shareholders who wish to realise their shares at the best possible price”, Myles said.

On completion of the sale, the firm is set to be placed into liquidation.

Reasons that shareholders want to redeem include a “change in the shareholders’ investment objectives, the discount to net asset value at which the company’s shares have traded, its size and limited liquidity”, according to the announcement. 

The sale is pending shareholder approval to change the fund’s policy from investment to divestment. It expects a bulk of the proceeds to be received in one tranche around 31 March 2018, after which it will be distributed to shareholders.