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Investment firm Coller Capital explores sale -sources

By Reuters

By Chibuike Oguh and David French

– Coller Capital Ltd, one of the world’s biggest investors in private equity fund interests, is exploring options that include a sale of the business, people familiar with the matter said.

Coller has been working with an investment bank as it mulls divesting a stake or the entirety of the company, the sources said. They added that Coller’s $26 billion in assets under management could be valued in line with its peer Lexington Partners, which is of similar size and agreed last month to be acquired by money manager Franklin Resources Inc for $1.75 billion.

The sources cautioned that there was no guarantee any deal for Coller would be struck and asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential.

Coller Capital declined to comment. Private Equity International first reported in September that Coller Capital had approached potential buyers to gauge their interest in a deal.

Founded by British financier Jeremy Coller in 1990, the firm specializes in the so-called private equity secondaries market, buying and selling the stakes of investors in funds. It could attract acquisition interest from other investment firms looking to enter the booming sector.

Secondary market transactions in private equity are expected to reach a record $100 billion this year, according to investment bank Raymond James.

Last month, KKR & Co Inc disclosed in its quarterly earnings call that it was evaluating whether to buy a secondaries business or build its own team to make such investments.

London-headquartered Coller finished raising its latest flagship fund, Coller International Partners VIII, in January, amassing $9 billion.