Florida SBA shops $1.1 bln VC, PE portfolio

Florida’s State Board of Administration is shopping a portfolio of venture capital and private equity stakes with an overall net asset value of about $1.1 billion, according to four people with knowledge of the process.

The funds that are included in the portfolio are unclear, but sources described them as high-quality. Because of that quality, pricing on the deal is considered “robust,” sources said.

Park Hill Group is agent on the sale, sources said.

The portfolio is being looked over by large secondary funds. Ardian is a likely buyer of the portfolio, several sources said.

Emma Murphy, a spokeswoman with Ardian, and John Kuczwanski, a spokesman for Florida SBA, declined to comment.

Florida SBA, which oversees $177.4 billion of assets, has been an active seller on the secondary market over the past few years. Last year, the firm sold another large PE portfolio that included a big chunk of exposure to TPG, Buyouts previously reported. Park Hill also ran that sale.

The system also sold a portfolio in 2013. At the time, Kuczwanski said the sale included funds “that were approaching or had exceeded the end of their fund term. We viewed this as both a portfolio clean-up exercise and a way to redeploy capital into new opportunities.”

The system committed $687 million to private equity and other private investments in the third quarter, including $350 million for mezzanine strategies, Buyouts has reported.

The secondary market has seen a dearth of billion-dollar portfolio deals this year. Sources attribute the lack of big deals to limited partners choosing not to sell in the low-interest-rate, low-return environment. The question for LPs is: If you sell, what do you do with the money? one source said.

“Large LPs, they don’t know what to do with the money,” the source said. “OK, good news, here’s another $2 billion or $3 billion, but you have to put it to work.”

Action Item: Check out Florida SBA’s alternatives performance report: http://bit.ly/2gpI5jD