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Ardian sells portfolio to Strategic Partners in tertiary sale

The investment firm has offloaded a portfolio of stakes from its 2010-vintage secondaries fund, having sold at least $1.5bn to the Blackstone unit since 2017.

Ardian has locked in returns by offloading a piece of its secondaries portfolio in at least the second such sell-down in 18 months.

The Paris-headquartered investment manager sold a portfolio of stakes to Strategic Partners via ASF Peak, ASF Ship and ASF Hansa, according to UK regulatory filings. These are acquisition vehicles linked to the 2010-vintage ASF V, according to an investor presentation from 2017 seen by Secondaries Investor.

Stakes that changed hands include:

  • A whole and a partial stake in the 2006-vintage 3i Europartners V
  • A partial stake in the 2010-vintage Euroknights VI
  • Whole stakes in the 2006-vintage Charterhouse Capital Partners VIII and the 2009-vintage Charterhouse Capital Partners IX

In 2017 Ardian sold around $800 million of interests from ASF V to Strategic Partners at a 2 percent discount to net asset value, Secondaries Investor reported. The portfolio represented around a quarter of the fund’s net asset value and followed the sale of $700 million-worth of stakes by Ardian to Strategic Partners earlier that year.

The Blackstone unit is seeking $8 billion for Strategic Partners Fund VIII, according to Secondaries Investor data. The fund has collected $6.94 billion via a main vehicle and $2.74 billion via an offshore vehicle according to separate filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission dated 12 April. It is unclear how much Fund VIII has raised in total.

According to the investor presentation, the ASF Peak, ASF Ship and ASF Hansa portfolios were acquired by Ardian for a combined $3.8 billion between November 2011 and December 2015. ASF Peak, a $2.4 billion portfolio acquired from a sovereign wealth fund, and ASF Ship, a $940 million portfolio bought from a pension fund, were partially acquired by 2014-vintage successor ASF VI.

The remaining NAV of these portfolios and the price they traded at are not clear.

ASF V launched in December 2010 and closed in August 2012, exceeding its target by $3.6 billion, according to PEI data. The fund had made a net internal rate of return of 17.6 percent and multiple of 1.65x as of end-September 2018, according to data from the Florida State Board of Administration.

Ardian did not respond to a request for comment. Strategic Partners, 3i, Charterhouse and manager of the Euroknights funds Argos Wityu declined to comment.