Ardian is exploring options to offload stakes on the secondaries market in what would be at least the fourth sale from the firm in the last two years, Secondaries Investor has learned.
The Paris-headquartered firm is seeking buyers for a portfolio of fund stakes worth at least $650 million, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The portfolio contains “high-quality” fund interests including recent vintages, one of the sources said.
It is unclear whether the firm has hired an advisor to work on the sale.
Ardian has been a regular seller on the secondaries market. In June it offloaded a portfolio of mainly tail-end stakes, including interests in Carlyle, Lyceum Capital and Rutland Partners-managed funds, worth around $700 million to Strategic Partners, as Secondaries Investor reported.
The firm has sold all of the first four of its ASF series secondaries funds, as well as all of the first three of its AESF early secondaries funds, according to a June document prepared for the firm’s 2017 annual general meeting seen by Secondaries Investor. These sales include a $1 billion portfolio of stakes held in its 2006-vintage AXA Secondary Fund IV to Canada Pension Plan Investment Board last year and a $200 million portfolio of stakes held in its first three early secondaries funds in the second half of 2016.
Ardian use secondaries sales for mature portfolios that have “limited expected upside and decreasing IRR” according to the document. Such sales secure performance and liquidate portfolios with almost no impact on multiple, the document stated.
In its review of 2017, advisor Elm Capital noted that funds of funds were the seller on 48 percent of all secondaries sales it worked on during the year. Unlike in previous years, such portfolios increasingly include some newer assets, helping boost the value of the portfolio on the secondaries market, it added.
Ardian declined to comment.