Coller Capital, the specialist secondaries investor, is planning to raise $5 billion for its sixth fund, according to market sources. If successful, the vehicle would be similar in size to its predecessor, which collected $4.8 billion in early 2007. Coller declined to comment on the fundraising process.
The target is slightly lower than the $6 billion figure that many market participants had been expecting.
Coller's current fund has been behind some of the highest profile secondaries deals in Europe during the financial crisis.
Earlier this year, Coller backed the spin off of a portfolio of direct private equity investments from UK banking group Lloyds TSB in a £332 million deal. The portfolio comprised around 40 investments made by the former Bank of Scotland Integrated Finance team, which was later subsumed by Lloyds TSB as part of a bank merger. In November the spin-off – called Cavendish Square Partners – agreed the first exit from the portfolio: the £450 million (€518 million; $729 million) exit of Vue Cinemas.
At the height of the financial crisis in February 2009, Coller built up a significant stake in the listed private equity investor SVG Capital. SVG primarily invests in Permira's funds from its own balance sheet and by investing £50 million in an SVG rights issue, Coller effectively acquired access to Permira's funds at a discount.
Coller's existing fund has also built up a significant exposure to venture assets through such deals as the joint acquisition of a 30 portfolio investments from 3i's venture arm alongside HarbourVest in 2009 and the £50 million de-listing of the Prelude Trust in 2008.
Coller is not the only major secondaries investor to be marketing a new vehicle. Paris-headquartered AXA Private Equity is currently trying to raise between $3.5 billion and $4 billion for its fifth secondaries fund of funds. New York-headquartered Lexington Partners, meanwhile, began marketing its seventh secondaries fund in December 2008 with a target of up to $5 billion.