Ardian raises $10.8bn to invest in secondary private equity funds and says "market has come of age"

William Turvill
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Ardian has raised $27.4bn for secondary investment in the last five years (Source: Getty)

The second-hand private equity market has "come of age", Ardian declared as it announced new funding worth $10.8bn (£7.5bn).

The private equity firm, which until 2013 was Axa Private Equity and is now largely employee-owned, said it has raised $27.4bn for secondary investment in the last five years.

Ardian today announced it had fundraised $10.8bn for secondary investment as well as a new $3.2bn for primary private equity investment.

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The $10.8bn will be used to acquire stakes in private funds, enabling investors to sell their holdings in private equity to second-hand buyers.

“We can now say that the secondary market has come of age,” said Olivier Decanniere, a member of the executive committee and head of Ardian UK.

“Private equity has historically been a non-liquid asset class.

“Our latest fundraise confirms the emergence of a liquid secondary market which has the potential to transform the character of this asset class. Ardian Funds of Funds is at the forefront of that.”

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The latest funds of funds investments have come from 180 investors across 26 different countries, with 25 per cent already invested through six transactions.

Ardian said secondary funds now offer similar liquidity levels to other asset classes and have attracted new types of sellers, beyond banks and insurance companies, such as sovereign wealth funds and pension trustees.