Ardian backs Freshstream stapled spin-out

The secondaries giant has replaced Bregal Investments as the sole LP in the European buyout fund, allowing the GP to complete a spin-out.

Ardian has replaced a firm owned by one of Europe’s richest families as the sole investor in a mid-market fund, allowing its manager to complete a spin-out.

The secondaries giant has acquired the stake held by Bregal Investments in Bregal Freshstream, a 2015-vintage European buyout fund, according to a statement. The fund has been renamed Freshstream I.

“The transaction completes Freshstream’s transition from the Bregal Investments platform to an independent firm owned by its partners,” the statement noted. The news that Freshstream was to leave Bregal’s family of funds was reported by the Wall Street Journal in February.

Bregal and Ardian have both made commitments to follow-up fund Freshstream II, the statement added. A Form D for the fund was filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in December. Its target is not clear.

Freshstream I raised €600 million and has been fully deployed across 10 investments in the Netherlands, the UK and Belgium. It is not clear how much net asset value is in the fund and how much Ardian paid for it. A spokesman for Freshstream would not comment on deal terms.

Bregal Investments is the private equity arm of the Brenninkmeyer family, which founded international clothing store chain C&A. It has $16.5 billion in assets under management across buyout, fund of funds and mezzanine vehicles, according to PEI data.

Freshstream is led by managing partner Patrick Smulders, a founding member of buyout shops Towerbrook Capital Partners and Doughty Hanson.

Ardian is investing its ASF VIII programme, which closed on $19 billion including co-investment capital in May.

The average primary-to-secondary ratio on stapled deals in 2020 was 1:3.7, compared with 1:3.9 the year before, according to data from Campbell Lutyens published this week.