Lexington backs Eurazeo off-balance sheet deal – exclusive

The French investment firm, which owns companies including restaurant chain Léon de Bruxelles, is moving around €600m of assets off its balance sheet.

Lexington Partners has agreed to back a secondaries process involving direct stakes held by France’s EurazeoSecondaries Investor has learned.

Paris-headquartered Eurazeo will move around €600 million worth of interests in companies off its balance sheet into a new vehicle, according to three sources familiar with the matter. Lexington will invest around €300 million in the deal and become a limited partner in the vehicle, alongside Eurazeo.

It is understood Campbell Lutyens is advising Eurazeo on the deal.

Eurazeo may sell the remainder of the vehicle’s portfolio to other secondaries buyers at a later date, two of the sources said. The firm completed a similar deal in 2015 with LGT Capital Partners leading a consortium that included AlpInvest Partners, it is understood.

Eurazeo is one of France’s largest investment firms. Its portfolio includes luxury clothing and accessories brand Moncler, restaurant chain Léon de Bruxelles and medical equipment specialist Péters Surgical.

It is unclear which assets are included in the deal.

The firm’s latest small- and mid-cap focused fund, Eurazeo PME III, held its final close on €658 million in August last year, according to PEI data.

Last November Eurazeo announced it had acquired a 30 percent stake in private equity manager Rhône Group in an effort to tap into US public pension investors. The move was part of a wider strategy to increase Eurazeo’s third-party assets under management, Philippe Audouin, chief financial officer at the firm, told sister publication Private Equity International last year.

The firm had €16.5 billion in assets under management as of 30 June, according to its website.

Lexington is seeking $12 billion for its ninth flagship secondaries fund and is understood to have raised at least $9 billion so far, as Secondaries Investor reported in July.

Lexington and Campbell Lutyens declined to comment. Eurazeo did not return a request for comment.