Ardian lands another billion dollar fund portfolio

Hard on the heels of the firm’s recent $9bn fund close comes the purchase of a $1.3bn portfolio from GE.

Ardian, the Paris-based secondaries fund of funds, has confirmed the purchase of a $1.3 billion portfolio of limited partnership interests in private equity funds from GE Capital, according to a statement from the firm.

Ardian said it was the largest secondary private equity transaction in the past year. The news comes a week after the firm closed its $9 billion secondaries Fund VI.

Benoit Verbrugghe, managing partner and head of Ardian USA, said the fund portfolio contained high quality, mainly US buyout interests. “We had excellent visibility on the assets, given many of the funds we monitor quarterly,” said Verbrugghe.

GE Capital was advised by Evercore.

Ardian said the GE transaction followed in the footsteps of its $1.9 billion acquisition of private equity fund interests from Bank of America in April 2010, and $1.7 billion acquisition of private equity funds and direct interests from Citigroup in June 2011.

In March Secondaries Investor reported that the GE portfolio comprised 350 fund interests, valued at a 2 percent premium to NAV, according to market sources.

Secondaries Investor said at the time that Ardian had 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. 

Ardian, which has 320 employees working through 10 offices in Beijing, Frankfurt, Jersey, and London, among others, declined to comment.