Ardian is set to join the ranks of the largest private equity funds ever raised.
Secondaries Investor reported in May that Ardian was seeking $12 billion for its latest commingled secondaries fund. It had collected at least $9 billion by the end of January, including at least $1 billion from US investors.
It is now understood the Paris-headquartered firm is seeking a total of $18 billion for its ASF VIII programme, according to two sources familiar with the matter. This comprises $12 billion for its commingled secondaries vehicle and $6 billion for co-investments.
If ASF VIII closes on $18 billion, it would be the sixth largest private equity fund ever raised, alongside Blackstone Capital Partners VII. The largest ever is Apollo Investment Fund IX, which raised $24.7 billion by final close in 2017, according to PEI data.
ASF VIII is seeking a net multiple of 1.6x and a net internal rate of return of 16 percent, according to a broadcast of the University of Houston System’s August board of regents meeting. The fund will look for transactions of $1 billion-plus and target more complex deals.
Deals the secondaries giant backed in the second half of last year include the acquisition of a $1 billion portfolio from Maryland State Retirement and Pension System and a $2.3 billion portfolio from US insurer American International Group, which it split with PineBridge Investments.
Ardian declined to comment.
– Adam Le contributed to this story.