Whitehorse raises bulk of Fund II’s $1 bln target, as secondary market sizzles

  • Whitehorse II raises nearly US$730 million
  • Whitehorse I wrapped in May 2017 at US$400 mln cap
  • Secondary-market conditions strong

Whitehorse Liquidity Partners has raised nearly US$730 million for its second private equity secondary fund, the firm said in an SEC filing.

The Toronto investor has so far accounted for more than three-quarters of the fund’s target of US$1 billion. Whitehorse also reported raising US$193 million for an affiliated offshore vehicle.

It is not clear from the filing whether the two amounts raised are part of the same pool.

Fundraising for Whitehorse Liquidity Partners II comes roughly nine months after the close of the firm’s inaugural fund. Whitehorse Liquidity Partners I wrapped up in May 2017 at its US$400 million hard cap, surpassing an original goal of US$300 million.

Fund I raised the money from a range of limited partners, including insurers, public and corporate pension plans, family offices, financial institutions and individuals. Alaska Permanent Fund was among them, committing a substantial US$100 million.

Whitehorse declined comment.

The rollout of a second and much larger Whitehorse fund likely speaks to red-hot conditions in the global secondary market.

Market activity hit a record in 2017, with US$60.7 billion in completed direct and fund transactions, up 44 percent from 2016’s US$42.2 billion, advisory firm Setter Capital reported last month. The number of deals closed, totaling 1,378 last year, increased 27 percent over the same period.

Whitehorse, which specializes in making preferred equity investments in PE portfolios, is active in the market’s largest category. The PE (directs and funds) secondary space reached US$51.6 billion in 2017, the result of year-over-year growth of 48 percent, Setter said.

Whitehorse is led by Managing Partner Yann Robard, who founded the firm in 2015.

Robard already was a high-profile market player, having formerly headed the secondaries and co-investments program at Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. Before CPPIB, he served with Paul Capital‘s secondary fund and JP Morgan’s credit operations.

The firm’s other principals include Partner Michael Gubbels, previously a direct PE professional at Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and OMERS Private Equity, and Partner Giorgio Riva, who previously worked with Robard at CPPIB. Rob Gavin, a senior principal, joined Whitehorse from Denham Capital.

Photo of Yann Robard, managing partner of Whitehorse Liquidity Partners, sourced from the firm’s site