US private equity firm HarbourVest Bidco has made an unsolicited bid to acquire SVG Capital, launching a cash offer that values the UK-listed private equity investor at around £1bn (€1.2bn).

The offer was announced this morning, 12 September, after Boston-based HarbourVest Bidco acquired 8.5% of the UK firm’s ordinary share capital.

In addition, HarbourVest Bidco has obtained commitments of varying degrees of firmness – an “irrevocable undertaking”, as well as “letters of intent” – to accept its bid for SVG Capital.

Together with HarbourVest’s own shareholding, these relate to 51.2% of the SVG Capital share capital in issue on 9 September.

The board of SVG Capital has urged its shareholders to wait until it publishes its interim results next Tuesday, 20 September, before deciding whether to accept the offer.

The share price of SVG Capital was up some 15% this morning, reaching 650.54p at the time of writing – just above the 650 pence per share that HarbourVest Bidco is offering.

SVG Capital’s shares closed at 566.5p on Friday. 

David Atterbury, managing director at HarbourVest, said it believed its offer provided “full, compelling and immediate cash value” to the shareholders of SVG Capital.

He added: “While our offer does not currently have the recommendation of the board of SVG Capital, we look forward to a constructive dialogue with them to crystallise the certainty of value, today and in cash, to its shareholders.” 

SVG Capital has net assets of more than £1bn.

HarbourVest has $42bn (€37bn) in assets under management.