Ardian syndicated part of USS deal with Lexington, Hamilton Lane

The French fund of funds sold on part of USS's €150m commitment in a European buyout fund to at least four parties.

Ardian syndicated a portion of its almost $1 billion portfolio acquisition from the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) with two leading secondaries players and at least two pension funds, Secondaries Investor has learned.

The fund of funds manager transferred parts of its stake in Bridgepoint Europe IV, which it had acquired from USS using its ASF Ship vehicle last December, to Lexington Partners and Hamilton Lane, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Finland’s Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company and the Washington State Investment Board (WSIB) both also acquired stakes in Bridgepoint IV from Ardian, according to spokesmen at the pension funds.

USS’s original commitment to Bridgepoint IV was €150 million and Bridgepoint asked Ardian to syndicate the pension fund’s stake, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Lexington used its LCP VIII Holdings vehicle, while Hamilton Lane used its Tarragon Master Fund, HLSF IV Holdings and HL International Investors vehicles to acquire the interests in Bridgepoint IV, UK regulatory filings show.

A spokesman for WSIB, which manages $104.9 billion on behalf of 17 retirement plans, confirmed the pension had acquired a stake in Bridgepoint IV on the secondaries market.

Last December, Ardian purchased the portfolio of stakes in 13 private equity funds from USS, one of the firm’s largest acquisitions from a UK pension fund, in a process run by Evercore.

That deal included stakes in at least four other European buyout funds including Apax Europe VII, CPE Private Equity, Trilantic Capital Partners IV (Europe) and Bridges Community Development Venture Fund II.

Ardian, Hamilton Lane and Bridgepoint declined to comment. Lexington did return requests for comment by press time.