AXA Private Equity buys $850m OMERS portfolio

The transaction comes as OMERS works to reduce its private equity fund commitment business and focus on direct investments.

AXA Private Equity will buy an $850 million portfolio of 11 private equity fund investments and related unfunded commitments from the Ontario Municipal Employees’ Retirement System.

It’s unclear how much AXA will pay for the assets. Several sources previously put the value of the transaction at $780 million. AXA did not return a request for comment on the price of the deal.

Funds in the offering included vehicles from large firms like Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, TPG, Apax Partners and Hellman & FriedmanUBS is brokering the sale.

The C$55 billion pension system has been working to reduce its fund commitment business in favour of becoming a direct private equity investor.

“This transaction is consistent with OMERS strategic shift towards direct investing,” OMERS chief executive officer Paul Renaud said in a statement. The system’s goal is to have about 85 percent of its portfolio in direct investments and 15 percent in funds.

Last month, AXA PE closed its fifth secondary fund with $7.1 billion in commitments, along with a $900 million sidecar fund of funds. The fund – the industry’s biggest-ever secondary vehicle – is already 40 percent committed. AXA agreed last month to buy a portfolio worth between €70 million and €100 million from Nordic lender Swedbank, a source close to the situation told Private Equity International in a prior interview.