CVC in talks to sell management company interest to GP stakes firm

The buyer would join Singapore's GIC and the Kuwait Investment Authority which acquired part of a 10% stake in the buyout stalwart in 2012.

CVC Capital Partners, Europe’s largest private equity firm according to the PEI 300, is considering selling a stake in itself to a GP stakes firm, Private Equity International has learned.

Luxembourg-headquartered CVC has been in talks with several GP stakes managers, with  Blue Owl – the firm resulting from a merger between Dyal Capital Partners and Owl Rock Capital this year – emerging as the front runner, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

The talks are at an advanced stage, according to one of the sources.

If it closes, the stake acquisition would be one of the most high-profile GP interest sales in recent years. Blue Owl already owns stakes in firms including Platinum Equity, Vista Equity Partners and Silver Lake. Blackstone’s Strategic Capital unit last month said it would acquire a stake in growth-focused firm GTCR – a deal that followed its purchase of an interest in Sentinel Capital Partners the same month.

In 2012, CVC sold a 10 percent stake in itself to investors including Singapore’s GIC and the Kuwait Investment Authority.

This latest development comes after the buyout titan last week was reported to be in advanced talks to acquire Glendower Capital, a London-headquartered secondaries firm. PEI reported on Friday that Glendower’s management is set to stay on as part of the deal and that the firm will continue to operate under the Glendower name.

Owl Rock and Dyal, which was a unit of Neuberger Berman, completed their merger with special purpose acquisition company Altimar Acquisition Corporation to form Blue Owl in May. The firm offers exposure to GP stakes and direct lending, two of the fastest growing segments in private markets. The combined entity had $52.5 billion of assets under management as of 31 March.

CVC is the highest-ranked Europe-headquartered firm and third-highest globally, according to the latest PEI 300 of biggest fundraisers over a five year period, having amassed $60.4 billion since 2016. The firm is deploying its €22 billion CVC Capital Partners VIII flagship private equity vehicle which closed in July last year, according to PEI data.

The GP stakes market has been under the spotlight this year due to perceived potential conflicts of interest in some transactions such as Dyal’s merger with Owl Rock. In that case, Dyal portfolio companies Sixth Street Partners and Golub Capital sued to try to prevent the merger on the basis that Owl Rock, which is also a Dyal manager, is a direct competitor. In May, Dyal’s LPs granted the firm approval to combine with Owl Rock via the Altimar Acquisition Corporation SPAC.

Still, the market has attracted a handful of new entrants in recent months, including Apollo Global Management, which last month acquired a stake in fintech specialist Motive Partners. Others active in the sector include Goldman Sachs’s Petershill unit, Wafra and Azimut Alternative Capital Partners.

Spokespeople for CVC and Blue Owl declined to comment.

Read PEI’s GP stakes: Who owns what? table here.