Amundi to seek €500m for latest ‘mega-trends’ PE fund – exclusive

Europe's largest asset manager will use the fund to invest in companies benefiting from trends including technology and social changes.

Amundi Asset Management will return to market this year with its second private equity fund focusing on businesses benefiting from global “mega-trends”.

The Paris-headquartered firm, the largest asset manager in Europe, will seek €500 million for its Megatrends II fund, Stanislas Cuny, managing partner and head of direct private equity, told Private Equity International. The five mega-trends are demographics, environment, globalisation, technology and social changes.

“Our conviction is that the sector-view of finance is dead,” Cuny said. “In each sector you see fast-growing companies and you see declining companies. We look at the economy with mega-trend segments.”

Amundi will seek capital from both institutional and retail investors mainly in Western Europe as well as global investors. The fund will invest in the eurozone with a minimum 50 percent in France, with ticket sizes up to €50 million.

The fund will take active minority stakes in businesses.

The firm raised a little over €300 million for its debut Megatrends I fund at the end of last year, beating its €250 million target. That fund is just over 60 percent invested, Cuny said.

The eurozone has grown at around 2.1 percent annually on average over the last two decades, according to data from the World Bank. In an low-growth environment, companies growing at between 20-40 percent are those benefiting from at least one of these megatrends, Cuny said.

Examples of such deals include Amundi’s January investment in Le Groupe Bioclinic, a blood routine analysis company, and its 2015 purchase of French organic food maker Marcel et Fils, Cuny said. Bioclinic benefits from two dynamics – an ageing population and healthcare – while Marcel benefits from growing interest in non-commercialised food, Cuny added.

“Food distribution in France has zero growth,” he said. “Organic food distribution is growing 15 percent per year in Europe. People don’t trust industrial food anymore, they want to find security and authenticity in what they eat.”

Amundi Asset Management has around €1.5 trillion in assets under management, according to its website. Around €6 billion of this is in private equity, comprising €883 million in directs as of June, and most of the remainder in funds, Cuny said.