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Ardian bypasses GP approvals in $1bn GE deal

A unique structure is said to have allowed Ardian to bypass the time-consuming GP approval process for all 350 interests.

Ardian has bought 350 fund interests in a deal worth $1 billion from GE Capital, according to three market sources.

The fund of funds paid a 2 percent premium to NAV, a price that helped Ardian beat other large competitors to the portfolio of buyout interests, the sources said.

Secondaries Investor understands that Ardian bought a holding vehicle in which GE’s 350 fund interests were placed, thereby bypassing the time-consuming GP approval process for all 350 interests. Further details were unavailable at press time.

Ardian and GE declined to comment. Evercore, the advisor running the auction, also declined to comment.

Last week Bloomberg reported that Ardian was poised to buy the GE portfolio as the company sought to divest assets in compliance with the US’ Dodd-Frank Act, which limits financial institutions’ private equity investments.

Ardian recently held an interim $5 billion close for its sixth secondaries fund, Secondaries Investor revealed earlier this month. Launched in October last year just after its spin-out, Fund VI is on track to raise as much as $10 billion, according to four sources familiar with matter. One of the sources said Ardian had been eyeing several multi-billion dollar portfolios at the start of this year.

Ardian’s prior secondaries vehicle, Fund V, raised a record-setting $8 billion back in 2012.