Goldman group snags ABN AMRO unit

Royal Bank of Scotland, Banco Santander and Fortis are selling the majority of their stake in ABN AMRO’s private equity fund business to a consortium led by Goldman Sachs, confirmed Carolyn McAdam, RBS spokeswoman.

According to sources familiar with the transaction, the Goldman Sachs-led syndicate will buy the RBS consortium’s interests in the two European midmarket funds of AAC Capital Partners, formerly ABN AMRO Capital, which spun out of ABN AMRO in September. When the deal closes, expected later this year, RBS will no longer be the sole limited partner in AAC’s two funds: Northern European Buyout I, which is fully invested and owns 21 companies, and €950 million ($1.4 billion) Northern European Buyout II, which is 30% invested and owns 11 companies. RBS will reduce its commitment to NEBO II to €500 million, and Goldman Sachs’ consortium will commit €450 million. Of the commitments, 30% will already be invested, giving Goldman Sachs and RBS consortiums proportional interest in the companies owned by NEBO II.

According to RBS’ Aug. 8 report to shareholders, the firm decided in December to sell the ABN AMRO private equity business.

Other members of Goldman Sachs’ consortium so far include Alpinvest Partners N.V. and the C$122.7 billion (US$115.4 billion) Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Toronto. More investors may be added by the time the deal closes. The deal does not include an agreement that Goldman Sachs’ consortium will invest in future AAC Capital funds.