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Business News

Coller Capital buys £1bn of private equity assets from Lloyds


Lloyds Banking Group yesterday sold £1bn of private-equity investments to Coller Capital, the major player in secondary private-equity deals run by Jeremy Coller.

The deal is part of Lloyds' ongoing strategy of de-risking its balance sheet and getting rid of assets which it does not consider mainstream.

The sale takes the total value of disposals of non-core assets by the bank, which is 40 per cent owned by the taxpayer, to more than £77bn over the past two years.

Lloyds, headed by chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio, has targeted at least another £47bn of such sales by the end of 2014.

Unlike an earlier £332m deal with Mr Coller, which involved direct stakes in companies ranging from the shirt maker TM Lewin to the Vue cinemas chain, yesterday's sale is of 71 investments in a wide range of third-party private-equity and mezzanine finance funds. Like the earlier deal it is a legacy portfolio from Bank of Scotland, which came when Lloyds took over HBOS.

Mr Coller is paying virtually book value for the portfolio and will also take on £220m of undrawn commitments to the various funds.

Lloyds will receive almost 100p in the pound for the portfolio, which is considerably more than for some of its other non-core assets sales where, for example, poorly performing properties have been sold at half their book value.

Vegan who keeps out of the limelight

Specialising in the so-called secondaries market – buying assets from other investors and private equity firms – has helped Jeremy Coller keep out of the limelight.

Within the industry, however, he is considered one of the most influencial people in private equity and The Sunday Times Rich List estimates he's worth £142m.

A vegan, who refuses to wear silk or leather, he also backs London Business School's Coller Institute of Private Equity.