Ares completes Spring Bridge tie-up amid secondaries push

The partnership will see secondaries market veterans and former Coller Capital investment professionals Sebastien Burdel and Luca Salvato join in London and New York, respectively.

Ares Management, the 19th largest private equity firm according to the PEI 300, has completed a tie-up with Spring Bridge Partners amid a wider push into secondaries.

The move will bring more than $150 million in assets under the Ares banner, according to a statement Secondaries Investor has seen exclusively. The duo had been in talks since at least December, Secondaries Investor reported at the time.

Spring Bridge was founded in 2017 by two secondaries market veterans and former Coller Capital investment professionals: Sebastien Burdel and Luca Salvato. The firm focuses on GP-led transactions, spin-outs, structured deals involving loans, preferred debt or preferred equity and liquidity to GPs, according to its website.

London-based Burdel and New York-based Salvato will join as partners in the Ares Secondary Solutions Group, the statement said. Clement Beaudin, who joined Spring Bridge in 2019 from Coller Capital, will be a principal in the London office.

Spring Bridge has made several deal-by-deal investments to date with an eye to raising a fund. Deals include the 2019 backing of the spin-out of Wafra Partners, the direct investment team of Wafra Investment Group, to become Granite Bridge Partners, and in May this year it led a fund restructuring of legacy assets owned by Los Angeles-based private equity firm Brentwood Associates, according to a statement.

The firm had been seeking $500 million for its debut fund as of 2019, Secondaries Investor reported at the time. It is unclear how this fundraising has progressed.

Spring Bridge marks Ares’ second tie-up in secondaries since its $1.08 billion purchase of Landmark Partners in June.

Landmark is seeking at least $6 billion for its latest private equity secondaries fund, Landmark Equity Partners XVII, which launched in July last year, according to Secondaries Investor data. The firm aims to raise north of $10 billion across its private equity, real estate and infrastructure funds, per its Q4 2021 earnings. Speaking on a call after the acquisition in March, Ares chief executive Michael Arougheti said he expected Landmark to meet or exceed its target.

The market for buying secondaries firms has been red hot this year, with at least five other acquisitions so far, including CVC Capital Partners’ purchase of Glendower Capital and PGIM’s acquisition of Montana Capital Partners.

– Adam Le contributed to this article.