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Northill acquires Danish high-yield credit manager Capital Four

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Danish asset manager Capital Four has sold a majority stake to Northill Capital, boosting assets under management to $36bn (€33.4bn).

Northill has acquired approximately 60% of the manager’s equity for an undisclosed sum, while chief executive Sandro Näf and portfolio managers Torben Skødeberg and Henrik Østergaard – all three of whom founded the firm in 2007 – will retain the remaining 40% stake.

Jon Little, partner at Northill, said his company targeted specialist asset management companies for acquisition in an effort to grow its portfolio of managers, with an AUM of $30bn at the end of last year across managers in which it owns a majority stake.

“We don’t like generalists, we don’t like people with five different products in different asset classes,” he said, praising the Danish asset manager as a “highly successful” firm.

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Little added that the acquisition of a majority stake in Capital Four meant Northill now had exposure to European high-yield credit, standing alongside, among others, its stake in equity manager Longview Partners, acquired in 2014.

He said his company did not target “fixer-uppers, or businesses that need radical surgery”, but that Northill’s partners would seek to aid the new Danish acquisition by bringing their experience to the board.

Näf praised the partnership as a “strong cultural fit”.

“Northill’s engagement ensures Capital Four will continue as an independent firm where existing management continues to run the business, and will enable us to more readily broaden equity ownership to the firm’s future leaders,” he said. 

Asked about how Capital Four’s current €6bn in assets under management could grow in future, Little noted its shift away from being a wholesale provider towards offering products to institutional investors.

The company currently runs an SME loan fund backed by ATP, PensionDanmark and Danica Pension, three of Denmark’s largest pension providers.

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