The Regents of the University of California is looking to sell about $500 million in older private equity fund stakes after valuations of the holdings jumped, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
UC Regents, which oversees the $91 billion pension and endowment funds of the University of California, hired Cogent Partners to manage the potential sale of venture capital and buyout fund stakes, said the people, who asked not be named because the information is private.
The university is evaluating options as private equity funds sit on almost $1 trillion in uninvested capital and valuations of companies rise, Jagdeep Singh Bachher, chief investment officer of UC Regents, said in an interview, declining to comment on the deal.
“Private equity markets are exciting and not exciting at different times for different reasons,” Mr. Bachher said.
Bill Murphy, a managing director at Cogent, declined to comment.
In recent years, UC Regents has expressed interest in using the secondary market, where existing fund stakes are bought and sold. In 2013, it hired UBS AG to pursue a sale of some venture capital and buyout fund stakes, said three people with knowledge at the time.
“We constantly have been evaluating things from a buy and sell position,” Mr. Bachher said.
The private equity portfolio is $4.5 billion of the total assets managed by the institution, he said.
Sellers are benefiting from robust pricing on the secondary market. The average high bid for holdings of buyout funds has risen to 100% of net asset value in the first half of the year from a low of 40% in the first half of 2009, according to Cogent data.