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Astorg to raise its first single-asset fund

The move from the Paris-headquartered buyout shop comes as GP-led processes eat more and more into the secondary buyout market.

Astorg is taking a step into the secondaries market after instigating one of the largest GP-led deals in Europe last year.

The Paris-headquartered buyout shop is to raise a fund dedicated to single-asset secondaries deals, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The move is a response to GP-led processes eating into the secondary buyout market, where Astorg sources many of its deals, Secondaries Investor understands.

The firm did not respond to a request for more information.

Astorg is in market with its eighth flagship fund, targeting €6.5 billion, according to data from affiliate title Private Equity International. The firm targets B2B companies in Europe and North America.

Secondaries Investor reported in June that Astorg was moving fund services business IQ-EQ out of its 2011-vintage flagship fund into a continuation vehicle led by AlpInvest Partners and Goldman Sachs Asset Management. At €1.3 billion, it was the third-largest single-asset deal to take place on a European asset at the time.

Astorg is not the first firm to carry out a secondaries process and formulate plans to raise a secondaries fund soon after. In October, Secondaries Investor reported that Audax Private Equity had hired an executive search firm to find candidates to lead the build-out of a team focused on GP-led deals.

In January 2021, the firm closed a deal that involved multiple assets held by a 2012-vintage fund being moved into a continuation fund worth $1.7 billion. AlpInvest, Lexington Partners and Hamilton Lane led the deal.

Secondaries market participants have been hoping for new buy-side entrants to remedy capital constraints, which have proved a significant impediment to the growth of the GP-led market.

“Secondaries funds are getting bigger and bigger… are writing ever-larger cheques and becoming more comfortable with concentrated positions,” wrote Partners Group partner Anthony Shontz in a piece for Secondaries Investor in March. “However, there is still not enough capital to support GP demand from within the secondaries industry.”