Ardian uses secondaries capital to buy SwanCap stake

The investment firm acquired the stake from UniCredit Bank, which has been selling down non-core assets to focus on corporate banking.

Ardian has used secondaries capital to acquire a stake in fund of funds manager SwanCap Partners.

Munich-headquartered SwanCap announced on Wednesday that Ardian had acquired a minority position in the firm from UniCredit Bank, the Italian banking group that SwanCap spun out of in 2013. The bank has been selling down non-core assets in order to focus on its corporate banking business.

Ardian used capital from one of its secondaries funds to buy the interest, according to a source familiar with the deal.

The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

It is not clear if Ardian has bought GP stakes with its secondaries funds before.

“This is an important milestone in the growth of SwanCap, reaffirming the company’s independence and its development as a pure-play investment manager,” co-chief executive and managing partner Florian Kreitmeier said in a statement announcing the deal.

SwanCap is a small- and mid-market firm focused on primaries, secondaries and co-investments. It has €3 billion in assets under management across four fund of funds vehicles, the last of which, the 2016-vintage SwanCap Opportunities Fund III, raised €433 million by final close in February last year.

Ardian was a cornerstone investor in the 2014-vintage SwanCap Opportunities Fund II, which raised €600 million.

The firm is also in market with co-investment fund Swan IV, according to a source familiar with the matter. It is targeting €350 million for investments in the US and Europe and is set to hold a first close on around €100 million in the next few weeks.

AlpInvest Partners backed SwanCap’s spin-out from UniCredit, as Secondaries Investor reported.

Ardian did not return a request for comment by press time. SwanCap declined to comment on which fund was used to acquire the stake.