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Temasek Said to Near $1 Billion Private Equity Fund Sale

Temasek Holdings Pte, Singapore’s state-owned investment company, is in talks to sell about $1 billion of stakes in leveraged buyout funds to Ardian, said two people with knowledge of the situation.

Ardian, the former private equity unit of French insurer Axa SA, will part-finance the purchase with debt and plans to sell some of the holdings to its own investors, said the people who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The deal may be completed later this month, they said.

The purchase would be Ardian’s second this month, following its agreement to buy $1 billion in buyout stakes from a division of General Electric Co. Temasek has been re-focusing to buy direct stakes in large companies this year. It agreed today to pay HK$44 billion ($5.7 billion) for a 25 percent stake in Hong Kong retailer A.S. Watson & Co. and has also offered to buy control of Olam International Ltd., one of the world’s top three coffee and rice traders, for $3.2 billion.

Officials at Temasek and Ardian declined to comment.

Temasek, which had S$215 billion ($169 billion) of assets at the end of March 2013, doesn’t publicly disclose the size and value of its private-equity holdings beyond the fact that 27 percent of its total assets are closely held.

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