Protostar to buy CIT directs portfolio for $100m

In its first deal, New York-based Protostar Equity Partners has agreed to buy CIT Group’s portfolio of direct private equity investments.

The private equity firm, which specialises in secondary direct transactions, likely will pay CIT’s year-end carrying value of the investments, according to a press release. CIT's unaudited 2003 financial statement values its direct private equity and venture capital investments at $101.1 million (€80 million). The portfolio includes stakes in 47 companies, according to the financial statement.


CIT reported a $60.5 million loss on its venture capital investments for the three months ending December 31.


The financial statement also lists interests in 52 private equity and venture capital funds valued at $148.8 million.


CIT is a publicly traded, Livingston, New Jersey-based consumer finance company with a current market capitalisation of roughly $8.23 billion.


Funding for the acquisition was provided by Goldman Sachs’ GS Vintage Funds II, a capital pool dedicated to secondary transactions in the private equity market.


Protostar is led by Joseph Haviv, a former partner at New York buyout firm First Atlantic Partners. Protostar targets transactions of between $50 million and $250 million in value.


Prior to finalising the deal, CIT must obtain waivers from approximately 75% of shareholders.