SVG U-turn: Goldman and CPPIB deal sees sale agreed… again


According to a statement from SVG on the morning of October 6, the deal with Goldman’s asset management arm and CPPIB is worth £748 million.

The decision marks the latest twist in SVG’s bid to fend off a £1 billion hostile takeover bid from US rival HarbourVest and comes after it said late on October 4 that it had agreed in principle a sale of 50% of its portfolio to Pomona Capital and Pantheon Ventures.

SVG said in a statement: “The board believes the sale of the entire investment portfolio and wind down of the company will generate superior value when compared with the final 650p a share cash offer from HarbourVest Bidco and will deliver greater certainty for shareholders when compared with the previously proposed sale of 50% of the portfolio to Pomona Capital and Pantheon Ventures.”

HarbourVest declined to comment on the latest bid. Pomona and Pantheon could not be reached for comment in time for publication.

Under the terms of the Goldman/CPPIB deal, around £1.1 billion would be returned to shareholders through a series of tender offers and the winding-up of the company, according to the statement.

Shareholders in SVG have until today to decide whether to accept HarbourVest’s 650p-a-share offer for the company.

Coller Capital, SVG’s largest shareholder, formally accepted HarbourVest’s bid in September, while Schroders, its second largest shareholder, had lent its backing to SVG’s non-binding agreement with Pantheon and Pomona.

Analysts at Investec wrote that the Goldman Sachs/CPPIB offer “certainly appears a better offer than yesterday”. They added: “It now comes down to how certain shareholders believe this new offer is and secondly the timings of the sale proceeds.”

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