CIT Takes Bids on Private Equity Portfolio

CIT Group is looking to shed more of its private equity interests. The publicly traded finance company is said to be taking bids on a fund portfolio managed by Laud Collier & Co., a Roseland, N.J.-based investment firm formed earlier this year by former CIT Group employees Paul Laud and Colby Collier.

“CIT has really been trying to refocus on things that are core to them, and private equity really isn’t part of it,” says one secondary market investor who had seen the deal. “They had already sold off a small handful of partnerships, but this is a much bigger group.”

CIT Group, Laud and Collier would comment on the proposed sale, but market sources say that the portfolio is dominated by the so-called “lost generation” of venture capital funds raised just before, and after, the Internet bubble burst.

Despite the negative cache, however, the portfolio must hold one or two gems, as current bids are believed to be coming in at approximately 65 cents on the dollar. That may not sound like much, but it’s a heady price for venture capital assets on today’s secondaries market.

The portfolio is said to be valued at about $180 million, which would mean a $117 million take-home for CIT were the 65-cent bid to be accepted.

W Capital Group and HarbourVest Partners are said to be among the firms vying for the CIT assets. Neither firm was willing to discuss the matter, as CIT Group has imposed a confidentiality agreement on all bidding participants.

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