BlackRock Said Planning to Sell Group of Private Equity Funds

  • Firm selling portfolio of assets raised from 2000 to 2006
  • Capital originally committed to the funds about $1 billion

BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest asset manager, is selling a portfolio of private equity funds because of the high prices some assets are fetching in the secondaries market, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The New York-based fund manager is selling a group of funds that it invested in from 2000 to 2006, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The portfolio, which had original commitments of about $1 billion, now has a valuation of about $200 million, the people said.

Similar assets are fetching prices that made BlackRock consider selling the interests as part of a portfolio management review, the people said. The average discount to market valuation has reached above par in some cases, said the people, compared with average discounts of about 18 percent in 2011.

A number of firms dedicated to buying fund portfolios, known as secondaries, are targeting new vehicles despite rising asset prices. Ardian and Coller Capital are looking to raise $9 billion and $5.5 billion, respectively, for their latest funds while Lexington Partners raised $10.1 billion in April.

A spokeswoman for BlackRock declined to comment.