Allianz to sell French fund of funds unit

French private equity firm IDI Group is in exclusive talks to buy AGF, currently raising a €400m vehicle. If it succeeds, it will more than triple its assets under management.

German insurance giant Allianz has confirmed it has entered exclusive talks to sell its French private equity fund of funds business, AGF Private Equity. The prospective buyer is French private equity investor IDI Group.

The talks follow a year of overhaul for Allianz’s alternative investment activities. During the summer, the company merged its three disparate units responsible for indirect private equity investment, infrastructure investment and renewable energies into Allianz Capital Partners (ACP), its direct investment platform.

The potential spin-off of its French fund of funds business comes as AGF seeks to raise its fifth fund targeting €400 million. In June the firm had garnered €315 million in commitments, mostly from European LPs.

AGF was established in 1997 and has built up around €2 billion under management across eight funds of funds. In 2006 it closed AGF PE Holding IV on €306 million. It is led by chief executive Christophe Bavière.

IDI combines direct and indirect investment activity and has built up around nearly €600 million in assets under management. Its direct investment business focuses on French mid-market companies, while its fund of funds bsuiness targets emerging markets and has committed to managers such as Baring Vostok Capital Partners in Russia and CDH investments in China.

IDI was established in 1970 by the French government and was subsequently privatised in 1987. If it were to take on AGF’s fund portfolio it would more than triple its funds under management.