The credit squeeze has forced HarbourVest, one of the biggest private equity fund of funds, to scale back its initial public offering of a new fund, which started trading on Thursday on NYSE Euronext in Amsterdam.
The Boston-based company had aimed to raise as much as $400m from the IPO of HarbourVest Global Private Equity, but investor reticence made it reduce the amount of new shares it issued to $300m. While HarbourVest said it was pleased to have hit its target of $830m for the initial market capitalisation, the scaled-back IPO shows investors still have reservations over the listed private equity model. The shares were flat on Thursday.
George Anson, managing director of HarbourVest in Europe, said: “We still found many investors who can see through the next six months or a year and see over the long term and were interested in our offering.”
He said only 5 per cent of the fund’s assets were in “mega-buyout” private equity funds: “The larger buyout space maybe isn’t doing so well.” Venture capital accounted for 38 per cent of its assets.
Blackstone, one of the world’s biggest private equity groups, has seen its shares fall more than 30 per cent since their IPO in June. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Apollo Management both launched Amsterdam-listed funds last year, which are still trading well below their IPO prices.
HarbourVest, founded 25 years ago by Brooks Zug as the fund-of-funds arm of the John Hancock insurance group, has tried to learn from the mistakes of some of the earlier listed funds which raised large amounts of cash but charged fees before making any investments.
Lehman Brothers is the sole global co-ordinator on the IPO and the joint bookrunner with Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.
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