Secondary Buyers Snapping Up Stakes Quickly –

One might expect the partners of Capital Z Investment Partners to occasionally stock up on European goods available in their trendy SoHo section of New York City.

Indeed, Capital Z did do a bit of European shopping recently, but instead of coming back from their lunch break with a $400 pair of shoes, the firm bought an interest in Hutton Collins’ Mezzanine Fund.

Capital Z paid $44 million to the U.K.-based banking and financial advisor Abbey National for the interests. The London-based mezzanine fund was launched in 2002 and raised $200 million. Capital Z also invested an additional $50 million into the fund, bringing its total to $250 million. Hutton Collins specializes in European buyout fund investments.

Hutton Collins has participated in some large buyout deals since its mezzanine fund inception. It took part in the $2.4 billion buyout of French transmission tower operator Telediffusion de France (TDF) and the $1.5 billion buyout of U.K. legal gambling operator Coral.

Abbey National has also been selling off its private equity LP interests lately. Coller Capital struck a deal with the firm that allowed Abbey to get rid of almost all of its private equity holdings.

Coller acquired 41 private equity funds and 19 European-based portfolio companies with a transaction that closed in December.

The deal between the two London-based firms set a new record as the largest single-buyer secondary transaction to date, with Abbey’s commitments totaling approximately $1.33 billion. Coller paid about $550 million for the assets, including a secured loan note of $286 million.

Capital Z has about $4 billion under management in two separate entities: Capital Z Investment Partners, a private equity investor and manager with over $850 million in private equity commitments, and Capital Z Financial Services Partners. The New York-based firm has an office in Hong Kong.