Stanford attracts $1bn in bids for ‘hard to sell’ assets

Chinese sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corporation is reportedly among the bidders for stakes in investments within its $5bn portfolio of real estate, private equity and natural resources assets.

Stanford University has received more than $1 billion in bids for stakes in parts of its $5 billion portfolio of assets which include real estate, private equity and natural resources.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, the university has been “weighing” offers on stakes of between 10 percent and 20 percent in its “hard to sell” investments – such as stakes in joint ventures – allowing the Californian university to retain majority positions.

The university offered the assets for sale last month in a bid to reduce its exposure to such sectors and to increase its cash reserves.

It has received bids from investors including the China Investment Corporation, as well as public pension funds and “secondary market” firms. The newspaper reported that best bids were to be called today, although bidders may have a little more time if needed.

The newspaper said that while Stanford had received numerous bids, some were on terms it regarded as unfavourable and that it remained possible that the assets would be pulled from the market if bids were ultimately unattractive.

A portfolio such as this would be welcomed by a secondaries market in which participants have reported little in the way of transactions of late.