Princess floats on Frankfurt

The Partners Group fund has listed on the German exchange after 97 percent of bondholders voted for an early conversion of the 2010-dated convertible bond.

Partners Group has successfully restructured Princess Private Equity and floated it on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, after a resounding majority of Princess convertible bondholders approved the mandatory early conversion into shares.

Princess is an investment holding company founded in 1999 that invests in private equity and private debt investments.

It raised $700 million in 1999 through the issue of zero coupon convertible bonds due 2010. Since its inception, Princess has invested in over 100 private equity funds representing more than 1,800 companies.

Last week, with 97 percent  of the votes cast, bondholders approved a comprehensive restructuring of Princess including the mandatory early conversion of the convertible bonds into shares.

A source familiar with the vote said it had been triggered by insurer Swiss Re’s reluctance to sanction new investments from the capital returned by an increasingly mature portfolio. Swiss Re had originally provided an insurance wrapper for the fund offering Princess’s bondholders a capital protection guarantee.

In addition, the investment guidelines have been amended to allow for a broader investment universe including primary, secondary and direct investments as well as listed investments and the denomination of the share capital has been changed from US dollars in to Euros.

The portfolio is diversified over geographic regions with an emphasis on North America and Europe, industry sectors, financing stages and vintage years and includes some of the biggest brand names in the industry, such as Apax Partners, Apollo, Bridgepoint, Permira or Texas Pacific Group.

Princess’ net asset value as of 30 November 2006 stands at approximately $806m, increasing around 15% each year over the last three calendar years.