USS sells another portfolio to Ardian – exclusive

The sale is at least the second between the Universities Superannuation Scheme and the investment firm as the UK pension faces a growing liabilities deficit.

Universities Superannuation Scheme, one of the UK’s largest public pensions, has sold another portfolio of private equity fund stakes to Ardian as it faces a growing liabilities deficit.

The pension offloaded the bundle worth around £800 million ($1.1 billion; €907 million) to the Paris-headquartered firm in a process advised by Park Hill, according to two sources familiar with the deal.

Details of the portfolio, such as the vintages and strategies, were not disclosed.

This is at least the second large portfolio USS has sold to Ardian. In December 2015, the pension offloaded interests in 13 private equity funds with assets and unfunded commitments worth around £640 million.

USS has been facing a rising deficit: its assets grew 20 percent to £60.5 billion while its liabilities rose 21 percent to £72.6 billion in the year to 31 March, according to its latest annual report. Liabilities increased amid a falling discount rate and lower yields on index-linked Gilts, the report noted.

USS and Ardian declined to comment. Park Hill did not return a request for comment.

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