Deutsche, Goldman spin-out launches as Stage Capital

The National Bank of Greece spin-out will focus on delivering returns for its two backers, chief executive Graham Thomas told PEI's sister title Secondaries Investor.

The DB Private Equity and Goldman Sachs Asset Management-backed spin-out of the National Bank of Greece’s private equity unit has closed with the new entity launched as Stage Capital.

Six core members of NBGI Private Equity have become partners in Stage, which has more than €300 million in assets under management. The firm will focus on managing its stakes in 29 assets and delivering returns for its two backers.

“Our real focus in the immediate future is to make sure the secondary works, that we get a good return on that,” Graham Thomas, managing partner and chief executive at Stage, told PEI's sister title Secondaries Investor. “Once we’ve done that we'll look to other options. We’ve got a platform, a track record, a team, and we’ll look to build from that.”

GSAM and DB Private Equity, the alternative asset manager of Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, agreed in February to back the spin-out, which involved the sale of UK and European private equity, venture capital and real estate stakes in 11 limited partnerships managed by NBGI.

The stakes were moved into a single vehicle, Stage Capital (Laurel), and Stage has follow-on capital to support the existing businesses, Thomas said.

“We’ve got some very seasoned businesses which have been there a long time, and we’ve got some much newer businesses,” Thomas said. “Typically our investing style has been to build platforms, which require further capital, and we will continue to do that.”

Stage may also invest in secondaries deals in the future and raise a successor fund in several years’ time, Thomas said.

On the buyout front, UK-based ATR Group, which Stage acquired in 2012, announced its merger with Centurion in July 2016, forming a global player in the oil and gas rental equipment and services market, with a group turnover of over £100 million. Stage remains a significant investor in the company.

Stage has 13 staff and is based in London. The firm has a Paris-based partner managing two assets, Stiplastics and Praticima, both medical equipment makers, as well as a representative office in Istanbul managing pharmaceuticals maker Birgi Mefar, its sole asset in Turkey.