Goldman, CPPIB rejoin race for SVG

News the pair is offering to buy all of SVG comes barely a day after the London-listed private equity investor reached an agreement ‘in principle’ to sell half its portfolio to two other buyers.

Goldman Sachs and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board have rejoined the race to buy SVG Capital, barely a day after the London-listed private equity investor reached an agreement “in principle” to sell half its portfolio to two other bidders.

SVG had said on Monday that it was in “detailed discussions” with Goldman Sachs and CPPIB, and would update the market on the outcome on Tuesday.

SVG is the target of a £1 billion ($1.3 billion; €1.2 billion) unsolicited bid from HarbourVest, whose 650 pence-a-share offer is due to expire tomorrow. SVG had said after the market close on Tuesday that it had agreed to sell 50 percent of its assets to Pomona Capital and Pantheon Ventures, and would return the cash to shareholders in separate tender offers.

But at 1415 BST on Wednesday, SVG said a unit of investment bank Goldman Sachs and CPPIB had submitted a bid for 100 percent of its portfolio.

“The proposal is being evaluated urgently by the company and the board will update the market as soon as possible,” SVG said in the regulatory filing.

The board continued to urge shareholders to reject HarbourVest’s offer. By mid-afternoon SVG shares had bounced back from an earlier fall of more than 3 percent, trading just 0.59 percent lower at 670 pence.

Nonetheless, SVG warned that it is unclear at this point if the new bid will be accepted. “There can be no certainty that the proposal will be effected or as to its terms,” SVG said.

Earlier on Wednesday, two of SVG’s shareholders, Standard Life Investments and Schroders, who together account for 14 percent of SVG’s share capital, had said they would support the asset sales SVG initially proposed, as well as the winding down of the company.