NETHERLANDS - Dutch pension fund giants have ABP and PGGM have had a double boost from technology firm Royal Philips Electronics recently.
On the one hand the AlpInvest private equity firm they own is involved in the €6.4bn purchase of the bulk of Philips' semiconductor business.
On the other they'll also be among the gainers as Philips returns €4bn to shareholders - paid for partly by the proceeds of the sale.
Civil service fund ABP and health care scheme PGGM, two of the largest pension funds in the world with respectively €192bn and €71bn of assets under management, are indeed shareholders of Philips, the company confirmed.
The company announced it would return €4bn to shareholders in the form of a share-repurchase scheme and dividends by the end of 2007, including the €1.5bn share repurchase program already announced in mid-July.
"All shareholders are treated equally and will get an equal payout," said a spokesman Jason Otke.
Philips is selling 80.1% of the semiconductor division - the third largest in Europe - to a consortium of AlpInvest, and US firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) and Silver Lake Partners for €6.4bn in cash. That's 20% to 30% above market estimates. No one at AlpInvest was available for comment.