Coller raises biggest ever secondaries fund

UK-based Coller Capital has closed a $4.5 billion secondaries fund, the biggest ever raised. The fund was nonetheless substantially over-subscribed.

Coller Capital, a UK-based private equity secondaries specialist, has raised the biggest secondaries fund to date, with $4.5 billion (€3.3 billion) of commitments.

Coller International Partners V has held a final close at $4.5 billion. Demand from investors was so strong that Coller was able to increase its original cap from $3.75 billion. Indeed, the firm said it could have raised as much as $5.6 billion.

CIP V, like the firm’s four previous funds, will buy interests in private equity funds and private companies, providing liquidity for other investors. Its investments cover a broad spectrum, with deal sizes ranging from $1 million to $1 billion.

The fund is already one quarter invested, thanks largely to its recent acquisition of a $1 billion portfolio from Shell Technology Ventures.

Chief executive Jeremy Coller said the size of the fund was testament to the value of the secondaries market. The new fund was “a vital piece of the secondaries jigsaw”, he added.

Coller said that about 41 percent of its investors were North American, 34% European, and the remainder from Asia and the  Middle East. They include pension funds, endowments and family offices.

One of Coller’s biggest backers is CalPERS, the Californian pension fund, who made a substantial commitment to the fund as it looks to concentrate on a smaller number of high-quality managers.

CalPERS private equity head Leon Shahinian spoke in glowing terms of Coller. “In our view, Coller Capital stands out among private equity secondary firms –
they have an exceptional team and are a true leader in their field.” Coller had been a “consistently strong partner” for CalPERS, he said.

Coller has long been a pioneer in the European secondaries space. It raised the first ever European secondaries fund in 1994, while the fund before this one was also at the time the largest secondaries fund raised.