Vision makes 5.2x from final Nordax exit

The firm has sold its remaining stake in the niche Swedish lender it acquired from Palamon Capital Partners in 2010.

Vision Capital has sold the remainder of its stake in Swedish lender Nordax Group, generating a return of 5.2x on its invested capital, the firm said on Wednesday.

Vision invested in Nordax, a niche Swedish banking group, in 2010. It acquired the company from growth equity investor Palamon Capital Partners for €105 million through its €680 million Vision Capital Partners VII fund. Limited partners in the fund, which closed in 2009, include HarbourVest Partners, Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC), according to PEI data.

During the course of Vision’s ownership, Nordax recommenced lending – it was in run-off when acquired – expanded into Germany and obtained a banking licence from Sweden's financial supervisory authority. It listed on Nasdaq Stockholm in June 2015 in an IPO that was “several times oversubscribed”, according to Vision, which sold its remaining shares in the business in three tranches, the last of which was sold this week.

The Nordax sale leaves Fund VII with nine remaining assets including glass and plastic packaging maker Bormioli Rocco, and US college operator Education Corporation of America, according to Vision’s website.

Vision Capital was one of the pioneers of direct secondaries. Last year the firm launched a principal finance platform to provide finance – in the form of preferred equity or debt – to funds or other owners of portfolio companies to help provide follow-on capital to the portfolio, pay down debt or provide investors with liquidity.

While the firm intends to raise capital for the strategy, this will not be dominated by a single fund, Julian Mash, the firm’s founder and chief executive, told sister publication Secondaries Investor in August, adding that Vision wants to take a customised approach.