July 16 (Bloomberg) -- Assicurazioni Generali SpA, Italy’s biggest insurer, agreed to sell a group of private-equity fund stakes to Lexington Partners Inc., said two people with knowledge of the matter.
The holdings in European leveraged buyout funds are valued at almost 500 million euros ($648 million), said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.
The transaction is the second between New York-based Lexington, one of the largest firms dedicated to buying private-equity stakes, and Trieste, Italy-based Generali. Lexington bought a separate group of stakes valued about $400 million in June 2012.
Insurers and banks have been selling stakes in private-equity funds as a set of new regulations, known as Solvency II, make it more expensive for them to hold such assets. In March, French insurer AXA SA agreed to sell its AXA Private Equity unit to its managers and outside investors. Groupama SA agreed to sell Groupama Private Equity to ACG Private Equity in January.
A spokesman for Generali declined to comment, while a spokesman for Lexington didn’t immediately respond to e-mailed requests for comment.
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