NBG spin-out eyes complex secondaries

Stage Capital, which spun out of National Bank of Greece's alternatives arm last year, is itself interested in backing spin-outs and portfolio transfers.

Stage Capital, which spun out of the National Bank of Greece’s private equity unit last year, could soon help others to do the same, according to chief executive Graham Thomas.

The London-headquartered firm sees potential in backing complex secondaries transactions such as spin-outs and other deals that involve the transfer of portfolios, in the way that DB Private Equity, now Glendower Capital, and Goldman Sachs Asset Management backed its own spin-out last autumn.

“Earlier in my career I was a partner at Mid-Ocean Partners, which was a spin-out from Deutsche Bank, so I’ve seen up close these secondaries transactions where you’re buying portfolios,” Thomas told Secondaries Investor.

“Obviously, that market is more competitive now but there’s a lot of complexity, and for people who are capable of navigating that there are attractive opportunities.”

Stage would work with investors on a deal-by-deal basis, Thomas said, partly because he would not want to be under pressure to invest in a sellers’ market.

The firm would concentrate on Europe and Stage’s traditional focus on central and eastern Europe would likely give it a competitive advantage there, he said.

Stage Capital completed its spin-out from NBGI Private Equity in October last year. National Bank of Greece sold 100 percent of its interests in 11 limited partnerships managed by NBGI Private Equity to Deutsche and Goldman Sachs, who paid €288 million. Six members of the Greek unit became partners at Stage.

During its first year in operation the firm has made sales totaling more than €350 million in value, according to a statement obtained  by Secondaries Investor, and has realised 84 percent of its invested capital.