ADIA commits $6bn to Ardian for secondaries

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is also understood to have been in talks to buy a stake in the secondaries giant.

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority has made one of the largest known commitments to a standalone secondaries fund and commingled private markets fund, Secondaries Investor has learned.

The $649 billion Gulf investor has committed a total of $6 billion to Ardian to manage for secondaries, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The commitment comprises $4 billion to ASF IX, the firm’s latest secondaries fund, and $2 billion for secondaries co-investments.

The fund commitment development come as ADIA and Ardian look to deepen their ties. Affiliate title Private Equity International reported on Wednesday that ADIA had been in talks to acquire a stake in the management company of Ardian as the firm seeks to raise its biggest ever secondaries fund.

The pair were in discussions as late as mid-October about a potential management company stake sale, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

According to two of the sources, the talks are not currently continuing due to a disagreement over how much Ardian is valued.

It is unclear how large a stake ADIA has been considering acquiring in Ardian.

PEI understands that the mismatch around how much Ardian is worth involves two separate valuation figures of $4 billion and $6.5 billion. According to another source familiar with the matter, the former was a number mooted by an adviser and not necessarily considered a realistic proposal, while the $6.5 billion figure came out of a separate third-party valuations process that may not reflect Ardian’s value via any ultimate transaction.

The development comes eight months after affiliate title Secondaries Investor reported that Ardian had been speaking to JPMorgan about a potential IPO.

ASF IX is seeking $15 billion, according to Secondaries Investor data. The firm was expecting to hold the final close on the vehicle in the second quarter of next year, according to documents prepared by consultant StepStone for the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System‘s September investment committee meeting.

As of mid-October, the biggest known investors in secondaries funds by dollar commitments was Taiwan’s Cathay Life Insurance, which committed $2.42 billion to secondaries funds with a vintage year of between 2016 and 2022.

ADIA appears to have taken an interest in secondaries strategies in recent months. The SWF was a cornerstone investor in Apollo Global Management‘s Sponsor and Secondary Solutions business, or S3, which launched in August.

Separate spokespeople for ADIA and Ardian declined to comment.

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