BlackRock mulls takeover bid for Axa Private Equity

BLACKROCK is among a host of global buyout funds considering a bid for the private equity arm of Axa.

The world’s largest money manager by assets could make an offer of around £300m, but has not got as far as opening talks, City A.M. understands.

French insurer Axa confirmed on Wednesday that it had begun a strategic review of its private equity arm, which was set up in 1996 and had €20bn (£17.41bn) of assets under control at 30 June. It could be sold for between £200m and £400m.

Axa’s sale of the private equity division, which is not yet certain to happen, is seen as a response to the tougher capital requirements under the Solvency II rules aimed at bolstering the insurance industry’s financial strength.

BlackRock, which has around $3.7 trillion (£2.37 trillion) of assets under management, declined to comment last night, as did Carlyle Group, although it is not thought to be interested in making an offer.

Private equity house KKR is also likely to be a bidder but could not be contacted.