Ardian seeks $12bn for secondaries

The investment firm is seeking a record-equalling amount for the strategy.

Ardian has returned to market and is seeking a record-equalling amount for its latest secondaries fundraise, sister publication Secondaries Investor has learned.

The Paris-headquartered investment firm has begun speaking with investors about ASF VIII, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The vehicle has a $12 billion target for its secondaries pocket, according to the sources.

ASF VIII was registered with Companies House in the UK on 14 May.

The total size of ASF VIII, including any primary and co-investment pockets, is unclear.

This target matches the $12 billion Lexington Partners is seeking for its ninth secondaries fund, Secondaries Investor reported in February.

Predecessor ASF VII closed in 2016 on $14 billion including co-investment capital, above its $9 billion target, according to PEI data, and has a $10.8 billion pocket dedicated to secondaries. The fund had a 23 percent net internal rate of return and 1.23x multiple as of March, Secondaries Investor reported.

Investors in ASF VII include the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, Florida State Board of Administration, New York City Employees’ Retirement System and Liberty Mutual Group, according to PEI data.

A number of large secondaries firms have returned to market this year. In March it emerged that Coller Capital was seeking $9 billion for its eighth fund, while in early May Strategic Partners began speaking to investors about its Fund VIII which has an $8 billion target, as Secondaries Investor reported.

A spokesman for Ardian declined to comment.