Pantheon buys Italian VC portfolios for $280m

Pantheon Ventures has bought the limited partners interests in two venture capital portfolios from Italy’s Cdb Web Tech, including 90 venture capital funds and eight direct investments.

Pantheon Ventures, a private equity fund of funds manager, has acquired the limited partner interests of two venture capital portfolios from Cdb Web Tech, a quoted Italian investment fund.

Carlo De Benedetti: owner of Cdb Web Tech

Cdb Web Tech, owned by financier Carlo de Benedetti, sold its entire limited partner interests in Cdb Web Tech International and Cdb Private Equity for approximately $280 million (€218.5 million). In addition, Pantheon Ventures has agreed to take on $180 million of residual commitments.
The two limited partnerships include approximately 90 venture capital funds and eight director investments. Approximately 72 percent of the total acquired portfolio is focused on the US, with the remainder in Europe, Israel and Asia.
Cdb Web Tech said that Cdb Web Tech International had a net worth of $264 million and generated $1 million of profits in the fiscal year 2005. Cdb Private Equity has a net worth of $13.1 million and closed fiscal year 2005 with profits of $1.1 million.
Pantheon Ventures hired investment banks Poli e Associati and Cogent Partners to work on the transaction and was advised by law firms Covington & Burling and Gianni, Origoni, Grippo & Partners. CdbWebTech was advised by Bonelli Erede Pappalardo and Slaughter & May.
Pantheon International Participations, a London Stock Exchange-listed investment trust managed by Pantheon Ventures, invested £61.8 million in the acquisition, of which £22.1 million will be paid on completion, expected by end of October, with £14.7 to be deferred until December 2007 and £25 million relating to outstanding commitments.
Other large secondary transactions this year include AlpInvest Partners and AXA Private Equity buying WestLB’s interests in West Private Equity’s debut fund prior to the firm rebranding as Lyceum Capital in April; and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein’s £130 million sale of Kleinwort Capital’s fourth fund to F&C Asset Management and Partners Group in March, after which Kleinwort Capital rebranded as August Equity.
In the US in April, JPMorgan Chase & Co. sold its $925 million interest in JPMorgan Partners Global Fund to Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s Private Equity Group and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, one of the largest secondary transactions to date. The same month, German venture capital firm Triangle Venture Capital sold 65 percent of each of the eight companies in portfolio to an unnamed secondaries buyer.