Ardian Said Poised to Acquire $1 Billion Fund Holdings

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Ardian Sarl, the private-equity firm formerly known as Axa Private Equity, is poised to buy $1 billion of stakes in buyout funds from General Electric Co., said four people familiar with the matter. Photographer: Ty Wright/Bloomberg

March 14 (Bloomberg) -- Ardian Sarl, the private-equity firm formerly known as Axa Private Equity, is poised to buy $1 billion of stakes in buyout funds from General Electric Co., said four people familiar with the matter.

The deal includes about 350 holdings in mostly U.S.-based mid-market funds held by the private-equity investment arm of General Electric, GE Capital, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

Ardian, based in Paris, beat other bidders by offering to pay face value for the assets, two of the people said. The GE Capital unit, based in Norwalk, Connecticut, manages $2.5 billion of stakes in funds, according to its website.

Financial companies have been selling assets as they come under pressure from the Volcker rule, a provision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, which limits how much they can invest in private equity. Credit Suisse Group AG, Switzerland’s second-biggest bank, sold its private equity, infrastructure and real estate investment business to Grosvenor Capital Management LP in 2013.

An official at Ardian in New York and a representative for GE Capital both declined to comment.

To contact the reporters on this story: Kiel Porter in London at kporter17@bloomberg.net; Sabrina Willmer in New York at swillmer2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net Jon Menon