PIP chases liquidity

Pantheon International Participants (PIP) has sold a total of £206m in assets at a discount of 62% of their carrying value in a bid to shore-up capital for the ailing fund.

PIP, which represents around 9% of the assets owned by Pantheon Ventures, has been facing an uphill battle to meet commitments as its recent distributions from its fund investments have remained subdued.

The liquidation of £206m of its assets came in two parts. The firm first announced the liquidation of £156m of assets on May 26, and has now increased that number by £50m. The combined liquidation will reduce PIP’s unfunded commitments from £687m to £481m.

The decision to liquidate some of its assets came from the firm’s half yearly financial report which revealed that in order for the fund to meet its commitments it would have to increase its liquidity.

Commenting on the first surge for liquidity, managing partner of PIP, Andrew Lebus said: “Upon completion of these transactions along with a small number of others planned, PIP’s liquidity will be restored and should be sufficient to enable it to finance all remaining commitments.”

PIP is the latest private equity firm to be hit by the credit crisis. 3i recently sold ten companies from its venture portfolio to secondaries specialist Cipio Partners after announcing its top 50 investments had lost £682m (21%) of their value in its third quarter of 2008.