Ardian seeks more time to raise flagship secondaries fund

The secondaries giant's ASF IX launched in February 2022 and is seeking north of $20bn.

Ardian, one of the market’s biggest secondaries firms, is seeking additional time to raise its latest secondaries programme as fundraising timelines continue to be pushed out across the alternatives industry for various reasons.

The Paris-headquartered firm received approval from LPs for a one-year extension on the subscription period for ASF IX, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The approval was granted last year and is for an additional year to raise the fund, it is understood.

ASF IX launched in February 2022, according to Secondaries Investor data. The firm is seeking north of $20 billion for the programme, according to a source familiar with the firm.

The fundraising extension was sought to accommodate further commitments from private banks, which are a growing source of capital for the firm, according to the same source. ASF IX’s fundraising period started earlier than scheduled, and the extension is linked to private banks’ arrangements needing to be organised significantly in advance, they said, adding that they understood the fundraising is going well.

ASF IX’s fundraise is not expected to continue past the first half of this year, Secondaries Investor understands.

Secondaries Investor data shows the firm has raised at least $10 billion for the programme.

Ardian joins a list of firms wanting more time to raise their funds amid a variety of reasons. Pantheon last year sought approval to extend its fundraising period for Pantheon Global Infrastructure Fund IV until the end of 2023, according to materials prepared for Ventura County Employees’ Retirement Association’s September board of retirement meeting. The firm ended up smashing its target to raise $5.3 billion for the largest ever infrastructure secondaries programme, it said this week.

UK buyout firm Cinven sought more time to close its eighth flagship fund last year, extending its fundraising period from July last year to this January, Bloomberg reported.

Ardian was reported to be a lead investor on a GP-led deal involving Hellman & Friedman in December, according to affiliate title Buyouts.

Fund managers across the board expect fundraises to take longer, according to research by Investec published this week. Fully 58 percent of 143 GPs who responded to the bank’s Private Equity Trends 2024 survey said they expect their next fund will take more than three months longer to close than its predecessor, and 27 percent said it would take more than six months longer to reach a final close.

Ardian declined to comment on its fundraise.