Vision closes fund with up to $1.3B

The direct secondaries market heated up a bit as London’s Vision Capital closed on a new fund with a buying power of up to $1.3 billion. The fund is the firm’s first blind pool of capital and comes as the secondary market continues to see new entrants and increased competition.

The fund, Vision Capital Partners VI, is comprised of a core investment vehicle of about $450 million. This capital pool is expandable up to $1.3 billion through parallel investments with limited partners that will allow Vision to compete in a range of secondary buys.

Vision will use the new fund to move on buyout portfolios valued at between $26 million and $643 million.

The firm began fund-raising in the fourth quarter last year.

“We didn’t need to approach many investors to hit our goals in terms of available firepower,” says Vision CEO Julian Mash, who adds that limited partners showed a lot of interest in the fund and that many were cut back significantly.

LPs include Goldman Sachs Asset Management (one of the fund’s largest investors), Adams Street, Landmark Partners, Pantheon Ventures, Adams Street Partners, HarbourVest Partners, the Bank of Scotland and the Graphite Enterprise Trust.

Vision Capital specializes in purchasing direct private equity investments, with a focus on buyouts that are confined to Europe.

The market for direct secondary portfolios is heating up and becoming more competitive as general partners grow accustomed to using the secondary market as a liquidity tool, Mash notes.

Vision may have received plenty of interest from LPs thanks to some of its reecnt exits.

The firm sold Avebury Taverns to Punch Taverns for a reported $382 million. Avebury Taverns was the single largest investment in the five-company portfolio that Vision acquired from the CS Structured Credit Fund.

In 2003 Vision acquired a portfolio of companies from Morgan Grenfell Equity Partners, from which it has seen a number of liquidity events for the sale of Deloro Stellite Group Ltd., Wintherthur Technologies, AB Cerbo Group and Shearings Group Ltd.