SVG Capital to refocus on new investments

Michael Bow
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SVG Capital, the listed private equity giant, yesterday said it has shrunk its exposure to Permira’s portfolio of companies as it set its sights on investing in less mature assets.

The FTSE 250 firm said it will sell its stake in Permira’s pan-European buyout fund Permira III for £90.2m but will keep a 50 per cent interest in Iglo group, the frozen food business which owns Birds Eye.

The firm said proceeds of the sale will be used to pay off debt and complete a £170m return of capital through buy backs and a tender offer.

The proposal will also be backed by the partial realisation of the firm’s investment in Galaxy Entertainment, which sold out in September for £70.8m.

In a third quarter trading statement yesterday, the company reported a decline in quarterly net asset value by 4.4 per cent to 361.8p, after shares in Hugo Boss, its largest single holding, fell 12 per cent in the period.

On an annual basis the fund increased its value by 7.3 per cent.

Between July and September the firm also continued its on-going capital return programme by giving back £9m to shareholders through share buy backs.

It takes the total amount of capital returns to shareholders since December 2011 to £93.5m, or 55 per cent of SVG Capital’s £170m commitment to shareholders which it is hoping to make by December 2013.

SVG and Permira previously signed a formal agreement to make SVG Capital a major investor in Permira’s new funds.