Saudi PIF commits to Ardian’s latest flagship and co-invest vehicle

Public Investment Fund is an LP in Ardian’s predecessor vehicle, which closed on $14bn in 2020 ahead of its $12bn target.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has made a commitment to Ardian’s flagship secondaries vehicle.

The sovereign wealth fund, which has SAR2.23 trillion ($594.67 billion; €548.95 billion) of AUM, has made commitments to both ASF IX as well as a separate co-investment vehicle associated with the fund, according to UK regulatory filings.

ASF IX launched in 2022 and has secured at least $10 billion for the programme, according to Secondaries Investor data. The firm is seeking north of $20 billion for the programme, according to a source familiar with the firm.

PIF is also an LP in Ardian’s predecessor, ASF VIII, which closed on $14 billion in 2020 ahead of its $12 billion target, Secondaries Investor data shows.

Ardian last year secured approval from LPs for a one-year extension on the subscription period for ASF IX, Secondaries Investor reported earlier this year.

Ardian declined to comment on the commitment.

Speaking with Secondaries Investor’s Second Thoughts podcast last year, Ardian’s co-head of secondaries and primaries Vladimir Colas said the secondaries market is “one of the most undercapitalised, if not the most undercapitalised part of the private equity industry”.

Secondaries dry powder sat at around $130 billion at year-end with over $200 billion of opportunities seen by the market each year, Colas added. “You basically have one year of transaction volume… that is available in dry powder despite groups having had successful fundraisings in the last couple of years, so it’s very undercapitalised.”

Ardian emerged as one of the main buyers on Los Angeles County Employees’ Retirement Association’s sale of LP stakes, affiliate title Buyouts reported last month. The size of the portfolio sale, which mostly included buyout stakes, was more than $1.4 billion, sources said.

Ardian was a lead buyer alongside Coller Capital and Glendower Capital on Permira’s multi-asset continuation fund, Secondaries Investor reported in March. The five asset deal was between $800 million and $900 million in size and involved companies housed in €9.6 billion pre-crisis fund, Permira IV, and its €5 billion Permira V, which closed in 2014.