Ardian lands another $1bn secondaries deal

The French group is buying a $1.3bn portfolio of 350 fund interests from GE Capital.

Ardian, the Paris-based secondaries fund of funds, has agreed to buy a $1.3 billion portfolio of limited partnership interests in private equity funds from GE Capital, according to a statement from the firm.

Ardian said it was the largest secondary private equity transaction in the past year.

The news comes a week after the firm closed its $9 billion secondaries Fund VI.

Benoit Verbrugghe, managing partner and head of Ardian USA, said the portfolio contained high quality, mainly US buyout interests. “We had excellent visibility on the assets, given many of the funds we monitor quarterly,” he said.

GE Capital was advised by Evercore.

Ardian said the GE transaction followed in the footsteps of its $1.9 billion acquisition of private equity fund interests from Bank of America in April 2010, and its $1.7 billion acquisition of fund and direct interests from Citigroup in June 2011.

In March, our sister site Secondaries Investor reported that the GE portfolio comprised 350 fund interests, valued at a 2 percent premium to NAV, according to market sources.

Secondaries Investor said at the time that Ardian had bought a holding vehicle in which GE’s 350 fund interests were placed, thereby bypassing the time-consuming GP approval process for all 350 interests. 

Ardian, which has 320 employees working across 10 offices in Beijing, Frankfurt, Jersey, and London, among others, declined to comment.