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HarbourVest to purchase Conversus investment portfolio for USD1.4bn

Private equity firm HarbourVest Partners has announced that HarbourVest-managed funds together with HarbourVest Global Private Equity, a closed-end investment company, have signed a definite agreement to acquire the entities that hold Conversus Capital’s portfolio of  private equity fund interests and direct co-investments for USD1.4bn. 

In conjunction with the purchase, up to 49.9 per cent of eligible Conversus unit holders may remain invested in Conversus’ investment portfolio by receiving interests in HarbourVest’s acquisition vehicle, HarbourVest Structured Solutions II, a newly-formed Guernsey limited partnership managed by HarbourVest.
Conversus Capital, like HVPE, is a listed private equity fund and is the largest publicly-traded portfolio of third party private equity funds globally, with a portfolio of over 200 private equity fund interests. In February 2012, Conversus announced a review of strategic alternatives, including a possible sale.
“HarbourVest is a leading global private equity investment firm and is the ideal partner for Conversus given its extensive experience in managing large private equity portfolios,” says Paul Guilbert, chairman of Conversus GP. “This transaction offers all unit holders an opportunity to sell for cash at an attractive price, while allowing others to remain invested in Conversus’ investment portfolio alongside an experienced partner.”
“HarbourVest’s secondary team is able to work creatively and cooperatively with sellers of private equity assets to find solutions that address their specific needs. Based on our culture of resolving complexity, as well as our deep understanding of the private equity and secondary markets, we are often able to develop customised solutions,” says John Toomey (pictured), managing director of HarbourVest Partners. “We are pleased to be working with the board of Conversus to meet the needs of their company and their unit holders. This is an attractive opportunity for HarbourVest-managed funds and HVPE to acquire a significant stake in a portfolio of high-quality private equity assets.” 
As part of the transaction, up to 100 per cent of Conversus unit holders will have the opportunity to receive cash, while up to 49.9 per cent of eligible Conversus unit holders may choose to remain invested in the Conversus portfolio by receiving units in HarbourVest Structured Solutions. 

Prior to the first closing under the purchase agreement, HarbourVest intends to work with Conversus to distribute a unit holder circular regarding the election alternatives which shall include further information on the roll-over option and HarbourVest Structured Solutions.  Given the expectation of multiple closings, the transaction is expected to hold an initial closing during the last four months of 2012, with subsequent closings extending into 2013.

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