Ardian has collected around $18 billion for a new fund to acquire private equity stakes and will shortly close it to new money, in one of the largest capital raisings since the coronavirus outbreak, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The European asset manager aims to complete fundraising for the ASF VIII fund as soon as next month, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The secondaries fund, set to be the industry’s largest-ever, will target investments including stakes in large U.S. and European buyout funds being sold by existing backers, the people said.

Ardian is still collecting money from investors, and the final size of the fund could still change, the people said. A representative for Ardian declined to comment.

Secondaries funds provide liquidity to an asset class that locks in money for as long as a decade. Pension managers, sovereign wealth funds and other institutional investors may welcome the chance to offload their private equity stakes in the current market so they can plug holes elsewhere in their portfolios.

The value of private equity assets may drop by as much as 50% by mid-year as the coronavirus pandemic batters the global economy, Investec Plc warned in a report last week.
Paris-based Ardian has about $96 billion under management, according to its website. ASF VIII will be the firm’s largest pool of capital to date.


Source: Bloomberg

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