Ardian acquires buyout portfolio from Bregal

The French fund of funds has picked up a portfolio of tail-end buyout stakes from the PE unit of a group of privately held global companies.

Ardian has picked up a portfolio of European buyout stakes from Bregal Investments, the investment unit of a holding company.

The fund of funds manager bought stakes in Equistone Partners Europe Funds II and III, Bowmark Capital Partners IV and PAI Europe IV-B from Bregal Investments’ Bregal Private Capital vehicle, according to UK regulatory filings.

Bregal Investments is the private equity business of COFRA Holdings, a Swiss-based holding company for a group of privately held companies including fashion retailer C&A and real estate investment firm Redevco, according to its website.

Ardian, which expects to hold the final close on $10 billion for its latest secondaries fund in March, used its ASF Coriander vehicle to acquire the stakes.

Equistone II is an €888 million vehicle that closed in February 2005, and Equistone III is a 2007-vintage €1.8 billion vehicle, both managed by buyout firm Equistone Partners Europe, according to PEI Research & Analytics.

Equistone II holds assets including Eschenbach Optik, a German eye-care specialist and Jerrold Holdings, a UK residential and semi-commercial term lender. Equistone III, which focuses on buyout opportunities in UK, France and Germany, sold French aluminium maker La Toulousaine last July to mezzanine debt powerhouse Intermediate Capital Group, with the firm making a reported 3x return.

Stakes in Equistone II and III recently traded hands with Strategic Partners acquiring Hannover RE‘s interests in the vehicles.

Bowmark Capital Partners IV is a 2008-vintage £265 million ($369 million; €339 million) fund managed by UK growth specialist Bowmark Capital.

PAI Europe IV is a €2.7 billion 2005-vintage vehicle managed by Paris-headquartered PAI Partners. The fund holds at least eight assets including United Biscuits, automotive services provider Kwik-Fit and bioscience food maker Chr Hansen, according to PAI’s website.

Bregal has invested about €9.5 billion since it was established in 2002, according to its website.

Ardian, Equistone, PAI, Bowmark and Bregal did not return requests for comment.