Abbey sells off private equity assets

12 January 2004
Abbey has reportedly sold off its remaining private equity assets, as part of its effort to refocus its attention on its core personal banking business.

The bank has sold its holdings in 41 private equity funds and direct shareholdings in 16 private European companies for an undisclosed sum.

However, Abbey - formerly Abbey National - has stated that the sale, to Coller Capital, represents a £59 million discount on the holdings' £500 million face value, as recorded on the firm's balance sheet.

The precise terms of the deal will be announced with Abbey's annual results, on February 25.

The deal will be finalised over the next few months, as the approval of the general partners of the affected funds is secured.

Anna Merrick, Abbey director of special finance at Coller, declared, “This is a fair deal for Abbey, at a price in line with our expectations, and is another step in disposing of assets that are no longer core to our strategy.”

The assets include holdings in funds run by Apax Partners, Goldman Sachs and Bridgepoint, and the shareholdings include stakes in Focus, Wickes and Laurel pubs.