Ardian picks up part of USS’s $1bn portfolio

Evercore ran a limited process targeting a handful of secondaries buyers for USS in the second half of 2015, which was tapping the market as part of a rebalancing of its private equity exposure.

One of the UK’s largest pension funds, Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), marketed a $1 billion portfolio of private equity fund stakes last year, but only a portion of it sold to Ardian, Secondaries Investor has learned.

Evercore ran a limited process for USS in the second half of 2015, which was tapping the market as part of a rebalancing of its private equity exposure, according to two sources familiar with the deal.

Ardian ended up being the only buyer, but the exact size of the transaction is undisclosed.

Another source added that Ardian is using debt provided by Natixis to fund the purchase.

UK regulatory filings show the Paris-headquartered fund of funds used its ASF Ship vehicle to pick up stakes in at least five buyout and growth equity funds including Bridgepoint Europe IV, Apax Europe VII, CPE Private Equity, Trilantic Capital Partners IV (Europe) and Bridges Community Development Venture Fund II.

Bridgepoint Europe IV is a 2008-vintage €4.8 billion vehicle managed by London-headquartered Bridgepoint. USS’s stake in the fund was worth €150 million, Secondaries Investor has learned.

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