Dresdner Bank, the German banking group, has signed an agreement with Coller Capital to transfer 22 North American investments to the secondaries investor from its Institutional Restructuring Unit (IRU). The deal is expected to complete by the end of this year.
Tim Jones, an investment director at Coller, told PrivateEquityOnline that Dresdner had invited Coller to take a look at the assets – along with “a select few” other organisations – two months ago. “They decided to go with us for two reasons: we were prepared to pay a full and fair price and we have a long track record of putting together complex transactions,” he said.
Jones added that Coller was backing a management team that had been responsible for looking after the assets within Dresdner Bank and was now spinning out. Coller has employed the same strategy on a number of previous occasions, for example when it backed the spinout of a team from Lucent to manage a portfolio of assets acquired from the tech giant in January 2002
The IRU unit was set up by Dresdner Bank at the beginning of 2003 to dispose of non-core assets. Since then, it has reduced the non-strategic loan and private equity exposures of the bank from €35.5 billion to €13.5 billion (as of June 30, 2004). Following the Coller deal, the unit will still have private equity exposures totalling around €900 million.
“We think we have acquired high quality assets,” said Jones. “They have good strong cash flow, present restructuring opportunities, and are diversified across a number of different industrial sectors in the States.”
Coller Capital closed its fourth fund – Coller International Partners IV – in October 2002 on $2.6 billion, making it the largest global secondaries fund ever raised. In January 2004, it acquired the majority of UK bank Abbey National’s private equity assets in a £300 million deal.