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CalPERS’ sale is bigger than $2bn – exclusive

The private equity portfolio sale by the US' largest public pension has attracted 'a ton of bids' from a broad range of potential buyers, Secondaries Investor has learned.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System‘s (CalPERS) private equity portfolio sale is larger than previously thought and has attracted strong interest, Secondaries Investor has learned.

CalPERS is currently in market with a portfolio of stakes worth in excess of $2 billion, according to two sources familiar with the deal. Around $1 billion of the portfolio is buyout stakes, while another $1 billion comprises mainly tail-end funds and fund of funds interests.

The portfolio is of good quality and has received “a ton of bids” from a broad range of potential buyers, according to the sources. The process is at the second stage of bids, the sources added.

Greenhill Cogent is advising on the sell-side, and Ardian may be one of the bidders, according to the sources.

In March, Secondaries Investor reported that CalPERS, the US’ largest public pension fund, was preparing to offload around $1 billion of private equity stakes, just four months after it completed the largest-ever secondaries deal with its $3 billion real estate private equity sale to Blackstone’s Strategic Partners.

The $291 billion pension fund has said it wants to use the secondaries market to reduce the number of direct relationships it has with private equity firms to 30. The pension had relationships with 104 managers on 30 June, according to its CIO Performance Report.

CalPERS and Greenhill Cogent declined to comment. Ardian did not return a request for comment by press time.