AlpInvest, Goldman lead oversubscribed Astorg deal on IQ-EQ

The transaction is the third-largest single-asset process to take place on a European asset, according to Secondaries Investor data.

Astorg Partners is close to completing one of Europe’s largest single-asset secondaries deals, Secondaries Investor has learned.

The French buyout manager has moved portfolio company IQ-EQ into a continuation fund anchored by AlpInvest Partners and Goldman Sachs Asset Management, according to three sources familiar with the matter. The vehicle is €1.3 billion in size, including follow-on capital, according to one of the sources.

The deal is closed to new capital and is awaiting regulatory approval. It is understood to have priced at a premium to net asset value. It is not clear how many LPs rolled into the continuation fund.

Secondaries Investor reported in January that Astorg was working with Lazard to get more time and capital to manage the company, which provides compliance, administration, asset and advisory services to investment managers.

One prospective buyer described it as an “ideal” post-pandemic asset, with “overall resilience and good visibility on growth”. Secondaries Investor understands that the process was heavily oversubscribed.

Astorg acquired IQ-EQ, then known as SGG, in 2015, according to its website. The business has made several add-on acquisitions, including asset management outsourcing businesses Blue River Partners in June last year and Constellation Advisers in January.

IQ-EQ was acquired by 2011-vintage Astorg V, which raised €1.05 billion. Investors include Finnish Local Government Pensions Institution (KEVA), New Zealand Superannuation Fund and Allstate Investments, according to data from Private Equity International.

Astorg is investing its €4.24 billion Fund VII and in market with Astorg Midcap, its first non-flagship offering.

This deal is the third-largest single asset process to take place on a European asset after Global Infrastructure Partners’ £3 billion ($4.2 billion; €3.5 billion) Gatwick Airport restructuring and 3i’s €2.5 billion process on discount retailer Action, according to data compiled by Secondaries Investor of the 20 largest continuation funds.

Lazard, AlpInvest and Goldman Sachs declined to comment. Astorg did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.