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Chris Hughes

Brexit Indigestion for Private Equity

Private equity firms face a pile-up of secondary offerings

The Brexit vote has been a dilemma for private equity firms wanting to jettison their last holdings in recently listed companies. Selling shares before the June 23rd referendum would mean missing out on a better price if the "remainers" win and there's a relief rally in U.K. stocks. The danger of holding on is that markets tank on a shock "out" vote.

Apax has chosen not to be greedy, and to press the button now by selling its remaining stake in Auto Trader, the trade mag it floated last year. That looks wise, given that it might be best to be at the front of the queue regardless of which way the referendum goes. Other PE owners still have decisions to make on timing.