Apollo eyes PE secondaries market debut with Alpine single-asset process

The deal, which involves an online advice platform that owns Horoscope.com, shows the alternatives giant is wasting no time with its entry to the secondaries buy-side.

Apollo Global Management looks set to cement its foray into the world of private equity secondaries via a single-asset process involving an online advice platform.

The New York-headquartered alternatives giant has exclusivity on a GP-led deal to move Ingenio out of Alpine Investors‘ 2013-vintage fund and into a continuation fund, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

Apollo’s GP solutions team, which has seed capital from the firm’s Hybrid Value fund, is understood to be the unit working on the deal.

The process involves more than $200 million in net asset value based on a 31 December valuation date, according to two of the sources. The deal is expected to be put to Alpine LPs in June, one of the sources said.

“The margins [on Ingenio] are incredible – financially it’s a great business,” said a source familiar with the process, who added that the asset has generated a double-digit return for Alpine since its acquisition from AT&T in 2013.

The company owns advice-focused platform brands including Horoscope.com, Astrology.com and PsychicCenter.com, according to its website.

Investors in Alpine V include Carnegie Corporation of New York, The University of Texas/Texas A&M Investment Management Company and DePauw University, according to PEI data.

Credit Suisse is advising on the transaction, according to the sources.

The deal comes a month after Apollo said it was building a credit secondaries business and had hired a partner from Goldman Sachs to co-lead the effort. The plan is also to push into private equity secondaries, a spokeswoman told Secondaries Investor at the time.

Apollo has raised $1.9 billion out of an undisclosed target for its second Hybrid Value fund which launched in August, according to PEI data. Its debut vehicle in the series raised $3.25 billion, beating a $3 billion target, in 2019. The strategy combines credit and equity, focusing on capital solutions, structured equity, and non-control stressed and distressed investments, affiliate title Private Equity International reported in 2018.

San Francisco-headquartered Alpine has tapped the secondaries market before. In January, the mid-market manager lifted TEAM Services Group out of Alpine Investors V and a related small business investment company into a separate vehicle. The continuation vehicle was $362 million in size, including $100 million of follow-on capital.

HarbourVest PartnersNeuberger BermanPantheon and Hamilton Lane were among the backers of that deal, intermediated by Lazard, which included some limited partners that rolled from Fund V.

Single-asset deals accounted for 35 percent of GP-led volume last year, compared with 52 percent for multi-asset continuation funds, according to Campbell Lutyens’ 2021 Secondary Market Overview.

Alpine did not return a request for comment. Apollo and Credit Suisse declined to comment.