Moncler and Desigual owner Eurazeo is in talks to buy European private equity house Idinvest

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Eurazeo bought 45 per cent of down jacket specialist Moncler in 2011 for €418m (Source: Getty)

Buyout activity within the private equity sector has kicked off with a bang in 2018, as Eurazeo – which owns names such as clothing brands Desigual and Moncler – revealed it is in talks to buy Idinvest.

The merger of the two Paris-headquartered firms, which have each broadened their remit beyond private equity into areas such as growth capital and private debt, is set to create a group with more than €15bn (£13.3bn) in assets under management. 

Idinvest, which has backed UK companies such as holiday agency Secret Escapes, celebrated its 20th anniversary last November and itself has almost €8bn under management.

It would bring further expertise to Eurazeo in the areas of venture and growth capital and private debt, as it competes with the growing number of private equity firms looking to span the whole investment lifecycle of companies rather than focusing on the more traditional niches of mid-market and large-cap buyouts.

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The companies have not yet confirmed how much Eurazeo is offering for the 70 per cent stake it intends to take in Idinvest, but City A.M. understands a deal could be formalised as soon as mid-January.

Eurazeo has recently been expanding the funds it manages via third parties, as it acquired a 30 per cent stake in New York- and London-based alternative investment firm Rhone.

Idinvest's management team would remain in place following the deal and will own the remaining 30 per cent. Idi, the France-listed investment group which owns 51 per cent of Idinvest, intends to sell its entire stake.

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