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BNP Paribas Private Equity completes its first secondary sale

The French bank has wound up its two direct venture investment funds in a series of secondary sales, which it has characterised as portfolio management.

BNP Paribas Private Equity, the private equity arm of BNP Paribas, has sold all or parts of the underlying shareholdings owned by the vehicles it manages.
Venture funds Antin FCPI 1 and Antin FCPI 2 will be closed and capital plus capital gains returned to investors. BNP Paribas Private Equity was advised by specialist secondary advisors RainMakers Private Equity and the French M&A boutique, Optiva Capital.

Brice Lionnet from BNP Paribas Private Equity said in a statement: “This is a win/win transaction where we were able to sell our assets at a satisfactory price level. The secondary sale of direct assets is a very complex transaction, which has to deal with several layers of liquidation preference, rights of first refusal, tagalongs and drag-alongs among other difficulties.”

Jim Soleymanlou from Rainmakers Private Equity said: “This transaction shows that secondary direct transactions are not about failure anymore. It is about proactive portfolio management, and venture capital firms have a lot to gain from turning their portfolios and focusing their attention towards new investments.”

BNP Paribas Private Equity was created in 1998, mainly from the investment department of Banexi, BNP’s former investment banking arm. In total, BNP Paribas Private Equity and its affiliates have launched around 20 funds since 1998 representing total committed assets of €2.6 billion.