Ardian buys from Wellcome Trust

The endowment sold a stake in Apax's 2005-vintage fund, which contains fashion house Karl Lagerfeld, among other assets.

UK endowment Wellcome Trust has sold its stake in a 2005-vintage pan-European buyout fund to Ardian.

The endowment, which has £23.2 billion ($29.6 billion; €25.9 billion) in total assets under management, offloaded an interest in Apax Europe VI to ASF Lithium, a vehicle linked to French secondaries giant Ardian, according to a UK regulatory filing.

It was not clear if the stake was sold individually or as part of a portfolio. The filing is dated 8 August and pricing details were undisclosed.

Apax Europe VI raised €4.31 billion, against an undisclosed target, by final close in May 2005, according to PEI data. Assets left in the fund include fashion label Karl Lagerfeld and General Healthcare Group Limited, the UK’s largest operator of private hospitals.

Ardian is in market with its eighth dedicated secondaries fund seeking $12 billion, Secondaries Investor revealedPredecessor ASF VII closed in 2016 on $14 billion, including co-investment capital. It had a 23 percent net internal rate of return and 1.23x multiple as of March, Secondaries Investor reported.

Wellcome Trust had 24 percent of its assets in private equity or venture capital as of December 2017, according to its 2017 annual report, including buyout funds (4.6 percent of its assets), venture capital funds (8.5 percent) and direct investments (3.4 percent).

Endowments and charities accounted for 3 percent of sales by volume in the secondaries market during the first half of 2018, according to Setter Capital’s H1 volume report.

Wellcome Trust did not respond to a request for comment, while Ardian and Apax declined to comment.