Natixis considers platform merger

Following reports that secondaries firms are running the rule over Natixis Private Equity’s sprawling assets, the group is considering merging two of its direct investment firms.

Natixis, the French financial services group, will potentially merge two of its private equity platforms – NI Partners and IXEN Partners – with the ultimate aim of raising and managing third party money.

The combined private equity platform would comprise 20 professionals and make investments of between €10 million and €80 million in small- to medium-sized French businesses.

The move would, said the firm in a statement, “consolidate its mid-cap presence on the French market”.

The news follows reports in the French financial press earlier this month that Coller Capital, one of the largest managers of private equity secondaries money in the world, had hired investment bank Close Brothers to consider a bid for Natixis Private Equity, the umbrella company that owns both NI and IXEN as well as a number of other private equity interests.

AXA Private Equity is also considering a bid for the sprawling private equity business, the report said.

Laurent Mignon, chief executive of Natixis, reportedly told French news outlet L’Agefi that Natixis has “no interest” in selling its private equity interests, which according to the group’s website comprise around €1.9 billion in commitments to 20 different managers across Europe and the rest of the world.

Direct private equity investors around the world sponsored by Natixis, include Holland Venture in the Netherlands, Axxon Group in Brazil and Granitix in Sweden. It is also behind fund of funds investors Eagle Asia Partners in Singapore and Natixis Caspian Private Equity in the US.