General Atlantic, a global growth equity firm, has closed its first continuation fund. Through the fund, General Atlantic is broadly retaining its existing stakes in four of its portfolio companies, seeking to support the growth of these businesses while providing optionality to existing investors.
The fund closed on more than $3 billion of new capital commitments, which funded the purchase of four portfolio companies from existing investors. Up to $1 billion of the new commitments will be available as follow-on capital to support the continued growth of these companies.
The assets in the fund include: Howden Group Holdings (formerly Hyperion Insurance Group), an employee-owned (re)insurance intermediary globally, which has become a distribution partner for global insurance capital; Argus Media, a commodities price reporting agency and provider of market intelligence to global energy and commodity markets; Sanfer, a Mexican pharmaceutical company with operations in 20 Latin American countries; Red Ventures, a global media company comprising a portfolio of brands and digital platforms that offer advice from field experts.
The transaction was led by Ardian and HarbourVest. The fund was also supported by anchor commitments from CPP Investments and Partners Group.
Bill Ford, chairman and chief executive officer of General Atlantic, commented, “With our first-ever multi-asset Continuation Fund, we are able to support the long-term trajectories of some of our most exciting growth stories while also providing optionality to our existing investors. We look forward to further developing our partnerships with these market-leading companies as they continue to scale.”
“As we extend our partnership with these high-quality businesses, we are pleased to provide additional flexibility to our existing investors and to attract such a strong group of new investors,” added Graves Tompkins, managing director and global head of capital partnering for General Atlantic. “The scale and alignment of the Fund reflects the significant growth opportunity that we and our investors see in these global companies.”
“Deal flow is very high right now in the secondary market and we are highly selective about which transactions we explore,” said Vladimir Colas, member of the executive committee and co-head of Ardian US. “We will only pursue transactions with exceptionally strong assets led by the highest quality managers, and this portfolio met all of our criteria.”
“HarbourVest is proud to partner with General Atlantic to execute on this multi-asset continuation fund,” said Dustin Willard, managing director, HarbourVest Partners. “The speed and scale of this transaction helps to demonstrate the range of portfolio management solutions HarbourVest’s global secondaries team can provide to private equity managers, who are seeking to hold assets longer while providing their existing limited partners with liquidity and realizations.”
Evercore and Paul Weiss advised General Atlantic on the creation and closing of the fund and sale of assets.