Vision Capital raises €680m

At a time when many organisations – both financial and corporate – are seeking to sell non-core assets and free up cash, the London-based firm, which made its name buying such assets, has received a good reception for its seventh fund.

Vision Capital, a London-based firm which specialises in buying portfolios of companies from conglomerates, financial institutions and private equity firms, has raised €680 million for Vision Capital Partners VII. 
The new fund, which was raised in a little over a year, is almost double the size of its €350 million 2006 predecessor. 
As with its predecessors, Fund VII will be expandable using sidecars and parallel investment vehicles. This is due to the widely varying sizes of the portfolios being acquired. 
The success of the fundraising shows that in an environment in which many LPs are struggling with constraints on investable capital and are being more selective in terms of new commitments, specialist funds with track records are still able to garner new money.
 
Vision’s latest fund will follow its predecessor’s strategy of acquiring non-core assets – normally in portfolios – from either financial or corporate sellers. The current financial and economic turmoil means many organisations need to sell non-core assets to increase cash flow. 
“We are in times of strategic change,” Julian Mash, chief executive of Vision Capital told PEO, “and we are set up to enable that.”
 
The new fund has attracted re-ups from 90 percent of Vision’s previous investors, while 40 percent of Fund VII is made up of commitments from new relationships with institutions in the US, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. 
 
Amongst the fund’s larger investors are Goldman Sachs Asset Management and fund of funds investor HarbourVest – both returning investors – and new investors US-based insurance and investment group CV Starr and Singaporean sovereign fund GIC Special Investments. 
 
The last investment Vision made was the acquisition of JDR Cables in September 2007 from private equity firm Bridgepoint. JDR, which turns over £39 million (€44 million: $56 million), is a provider of specialist industrial cables based in Houston, Texas.
 
In September last year Vision hired Lorenzo Russo, a director from retail and consumer specialist Change Capital, and former Silver Point Principal Finance Europe team member Darryl Cohen. David Robinson also joined the firm as chief operating officer, having previously held the same position for Ernst & Young Europe.