CVC Capital Partners is nearing a purchase of secondary buyout specialist Glendower Capital, according to people familiar with the matter, in a deal that will provide the private equity firm with a new strategy to lure investors.
The two investment firms are in advanced discussions and a partnership could be announced in the coming weeks, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information. Glendower management is expected to remain with the firm following any deal, the people said.
Representatives for CVC and Glendower declined to comment.
U.K.-based Glendower manages $5.8 billion and uses this money to buy existing portfolios of private equity fund holdings. The secondaries market has evolved in recent decades as a way for buyout firms and their investors to rebalance allocations and draw on cash when needed.
Glendower was spun out of Deutsche Bank AG’s asset management arm in 2017. The firm is raising a new fund of about $3.5 billion to both buy portfolios from other investors, as well as commit money to managers that want to hold onto certain companies beyond the usual timeframe, Bloomberg News reported in March.
A deal for Glendower would be a rare acquisition by a private equity firm for its own business, and another sign that even the world’s best-known houses are looking to diversify what they can offer yield-hungry investors in the low interest rate environment. Last year, Bridgepoint Group acquired EQT AB’s credit business, while EQT itself launched a growth equity strategy.
This is happening as a record amount of money continues to pour into the private equity industry, giving firms the opportunity to boost their recurring revenue streams through management fees. Securing stable revenue streams is especially important amid rising asset valuations and the potential for higher rates to impact returns.
CVC oversees about $163 billion in committed capital, according to its website, having raised a record buyout fund a year ago. It’s known in the industry for its competitive model, where employees who work on successful transactions receive a greater share of profits than those whose deals underperform. In addition to buyouts, CVC also has a credit unit, a growth investment arm and a direct lending team that makes loans to companies.
Established in the 1980s by a group of venture capitalists including Steve Koltes, Donald Mackenzie and Rolly van Rappard, CVC is majority owned by its employees. The firm has over the years been able to attract high-profile dealmakers to its ranks including Alexander Dibelius, a former heart surgeon and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner who joined CVC in 2015.
Unlike in the U.S., where firms like Blackstone Group Inc. and KKR & Co. went public more than a decade ago, European buyout groups have tended to remain private partnerships still dominated by their founders or immediate successors.
There are signs this is starting to change as firms in the region look for ways to open up to more investors, raise capital and reward employees. Bridgepoint went public this month in the largest initial public offering of a U.K. private equity firm in decades, while Antin Infrastructure Partners is considering a listing, Bloomberg News has reported.