Ardian (company)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from AXA Private Equity)
Jump to: navigation, search
Privately held company
Industry Private equity
Predecessor AXA Private Equity
Founded Paris, France (1996 (1996)) -->
Founder Dominique Senequier
Headquarters Paris, France
Number of locations
Beijing, Frankfurt, Jersey, London, Luxembourg, Milan, New York, Paris, Singapore, Zurich
Area served
Europe, North America, Asia
Key people
Dominique Senequier, Vincent Gombault, Dominique Gaillard, Benoît Verbrugghe
Products Funds of funds, direct funds, private debt and infrastructure
Total assets US$50bn
Number of employees

Ardian, formerly AXA Private Equity, is an independent private equity investment company.[1] It has assets of US $50 billion managed or advised in Europe, North America and Asia.[2]

The company operates on four business segments: Funds of Funds, Direct Funds, Infrastructure and Private Debt. Ardian raises money from about 346 investors from various domains (institutional investors, Funds of Funds, government agencies, sovereign funds, family offices, pension funds and insurance companies).[3]

Included in its portfolio are Vinci Park, London Luton Airport and SPIE.


Originally a subsidiary of AXA, the company operated under the name AXA Private Equity. It wasn't until 2013, when the firm moved to an independent status, that it changed its name to Ardian.

In 1996, Claude Bébéar, founder and former AXA CEO, asked Dominique Senequier to create a private equity entity at AXA. Based in Paris, AXA Private Equity began with 10 clients and 100 million euros of assets.[4] The first investment took place in 1998 in the GSI Banque company Linedata.

In 1999, the company went international, opening offices in London and New York. The same year, it launched the Funds of Funds investment strategy.[5]

In 2001, the company opened an office in Frankfurt[6] and grew on the German market.

In 2005, the company opened an office in Singapore and became involved in the Asian market.[7] The same year, AXA Private Equity launched its Infrastructure investment strategy.

Due to the financial crisis in 2007, the company postponed all new operations and focused on the management of its portfolio, in an effort to protect its companies from the effects of the crisis.

In 2008, Dominique Senequier insisted on distributing a higher percentage of the company's capital gains to the employees of the companies in Ardian's portfolio.[8][9]

In 2009, Ardian acquired 100% of Kallista, a French company specialized in the production of renewable energies. Ardian then invested heavily in transports, energy, water supply and waste management. €2.5 billion were invested in infrastructure systems between 2005 and 2014.[10][11]

In 2010, during the increased activity in the private equity secondary market, Ardian acquired a US $1.9 billion private equity portfolio from Bank of America[12] and a US $ 900 million portfolio from Natixis.[13]

In 2012, the company opened an office in Beijing in order to invest on the Chinese market.[14]

On 30 September 2013, AXA Private Equity announced that it had completed its spin-off from the AXA Group and renamed the firm Ardian. Per the terms of the deal, AXA Group retained ownership of 23% of the firm, management and employees owned 46%, and the remaining 31% was held by French family offices and institutions. Currently, 85% of employees are shareholders.[15]

In 2013, Private Equity International ranked Ardian in the largest private equity firms by PE capital raised[16] and named it Company of the Year 2013 in France.[17]


The company operates on four business segments:[18]

• Funds of funds, which manages approximately $30 billion of assets[19] focusing on primary, early secondary and secondary Funds of Funds.

• Direct funds, which manages approximately $11 billion.

• Infrastructure, which manages approximately $5 billion.

• Private debt, which manages approximately $4 billion.

Funds of funds[edit]

The fund of funds business segment at Ardian was launched in 1998 and has now $30 billion of assets under management.[19]

Funds of Funds include primaries, early secondaries and secondaries. Ardian has completed an important range of transactions in these fields, including the purchase of fund portfolios from Bank of America[20] and GE Capital.[21]

Between 2012 and 2014, Ardian deployed $7 billion into Fund of Funds transactions.[22]

Direct funds[edit]

The direct funds segment at Ardian manages approximately $11 billion of assets.[18] It is organized into four activities:

• Mid Cap Buyout (which invests in companies with values ranging from €150 million to €1.5 billion).

• Expansion (which invests in companies valued at less than €150 million).

• Co-Investment (an activity than began in 2005, when large buyout transactions require a strategic partnership).

• Ardian Croissance (which focuses on small and medium businesses — from €2 million to €10 million — that can achieve organic growth and have the potential to expand internationally).


The infrastructure segment at Ardian manages approximately $5 billion of assets. It includes investments in water, gas and electricity grids, toll roads and renewable energies.[18]

Ardian's third infrastructure fund closed at €1.75 billion including co-investments and is 45% committed,[23] including the acquisition of the London Luton Airport,[24] which is the fourth-largest airport serving the London area, and Vinci Park which specializes in construction, financing and operation of car parks in 14 countries around the world.

Private debt[edit]

The private debt segment, launched in 2005, at Ardian manages approximately $4 billion of assets.[18] Ardian has completed 8 unitranche lending deals that range from €40 million to €275 million.

In 2014, the private debt team provided €255 subordinated financing for Ceva Santé Animale[25] a £40 million unitranche financing facility to EAT.

Governance and management[edit]

Ardian was founded and is led by Dominique Senequier, who was one of the first seven women admitted to the French Ecole Polytechnique in France in 1972.[26]

The management team also includes:

• Vincent Gombault, head of Ardian’s Funds of Funds and Private Debt [27]

• Dominique Gaillard, head of Ardian's Direct Funds[28]

• Benoît Verbrugghe, head of Ardian USA[29]

Key figures[edit]

• $50 billion of assets (managed or advised)[2]

• 130 companies in the direct funds portfolio[30]

• 340 employees

• 10 offices (Northern America, Europe and Asia)

• $9.3 billion raised in 2013

• 85% of the employees are shareholders and hold, together, 52% of the company's capital.

Significant Transactions Completed by Ardian[edit]

Direct Funds, Infrastructure and Private Debt[edit]

In 2014, Ardian has more than 130 companies in its current direct portfolio through its different activities.

Year Company Name Activity involved in the transaction Country Ref.
2014 Schleich Mid Cap Buyout Germany [31]
2014 Vinci Park Infrastructure France [32]
2013 The Flexitallic Group Private Debt US [33]
2013 London Luton Airport Infrastructure UK [34]
2012 Bulkypix Ardian Croissance France [35]
2012 Frostkrone Expansion Germany [36]
2012 Ceva Private Debt France [37]
2011 SPIE Co-Investment France [38]
2011 Odiego Mid Cap Buyout Spain [39]
2010 Bravofly Ardian Croissance Switzerland [40]
2007 Diana Ingredients Mid Cap Buyout France [41]
2007 Spotless Group Mid Cap Buyout France [42]
2006 Keolis Co-Investment France [43]
2005 Camaïeu Mid Cap Buyout France [44]
2000 Ardian Croissance France [45]

Funds of Funds[edit]

In 2014, Ardian Funds of Funds' portfolio has about 900 funds with 10,000 underlying companies.[46]

Year Seller Type of assets Size of transaction ($m) Ref.
2014 GE Capital Secondaries 1,300 [47]
2012 OMERS Secondaries 850 [48]
2011 Citi Secondaries 1,700 [49]
2010 Bank of America Secondaries 1,900 [12]


  1. ^ Reuters : AXA spins off private equity arm as "Ardian", September 30, 2013
  2. ^ a b AltAssets, "Ardian celebrates first year of independence by hitting $50bn AUM", October 2, 2014
  3. ^ Financial Times : Ardian Raises $9bn to buy bank assets, April 23, 2014
  4. ^ Les Echos : Dominique Senequier Le private équity à la française, October 15, 2010
  5. ^ Linedata : Our history
  6. ^ IPE : AXA Private Equity opens Frankfurt office, October 04, 2001
  7. ^ Alt Assets : AXA Private Equity plans Asian expansion; office opening and new fund of funds, May 26, 2005
  8. ^ Private Equity News : Industry bodies to debate profit-sharing disclosure, July 21, 2008
  9. ^ Le Monde : Vive le LBO pour tous les salariés !, par Dominique Senequier, May 29, 2008
  10. ^ IJ Global : Infra funds should adapt to offer co-investment, says Ardian, April 01, 2014
  11. ^ CAIA : Risk, return, and cashflow characteristics of private equity investments in infrastructur
  12. ^ a b The New York Times : BofA Sells $1.9 Billion in Assets to Axa P.E., April 22, 2010
  13. ^ Think Advisor : Private Equity Secondary Market Heats Up, April 27, 2014
  14. ^ Private Equity Wire: AXA Private Equity opens Beijing office, November 06, 2012
  15. ^ Alt Assets: Axa Private Equity becomes Ardian after spin-out, September 30, 2013
  16. ^ Le Journal du Net : Les plus importants fonds d'investissement du monde, 30 juin 2014
  17. ^ Source : Private Equity International Annual Review 2013, page 64
  18. ^ a b c d Annual Activity Report 2013
  19. ^ a b Ardian website : Key figures
  20. ^ The Wall Street Journal : AXA Private Equity Buys BofA Portfolio, April 22, 2010
  21. ^ PE HUB: GE Capital to sell $1.3 bln PE portfolio to Ardian, April 29, 2014
  22. ^ PE HUB: Private equity firm Ardian raises largest ever fund of funds: Reuters, April 23, 2014
  23. ^ Private Equity Wire : Ardian appoints Gewolker as director, April 10, 2014
  24. ^ Financial News : AXA Private Equity: why we bought Luton Airport, August 01, 2013
  25. ^ Fusacq Buzz : ARDIAN investit 255 M€ en financement subordonné pour CEVA SANTE ANIMALE, July 18, 2014
  26. ^ Financial Times, Axa’s private equity powerhouse, September 29, 2013
  27. ^ Bloomberg Businessweek, Vincent Gombault's profile
  28. ^ Bloomberg Businessweek, Dominique Gaillard's profile
  29. ^ Bloomberg Businessweek, Benoît Verbrugghe's profile
  30. ^ Official website of Ardian, "key figures"
  31. ^ Reuters : French Ardian buys German toymaker Schleich, May 18, 2014
  32. ^ Unquote: Deal in Focus: Ardian backs €1.96bn Vinci Park buyout, February 24, 2014
  33. ^ PE HUB: Ardian supports Bridgeport’s acquisition of The Flexitallic Group, October 20, 2013
  34. ^ eFinancial News, AXA Private Equity: why we bought Luton Airport, August 1, 2013
  35. ^ Finance Monthly : AXA Private Equiy acquires a stake in Bulkypix to support the company, May 30, 2012
  36. ^ Market Watch : AXA Private Equity buys majority of Frostkrone, August 01, 2012
  37. ^ Ceva : AXA Private Equity soutient le développement de Ceva en structurant un financement additionnel, October 30, 2014
  38. ^ Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec : CD&R and its partners AXA Private Equity and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec complete SPIE acquisition, May 31, 2011
  39. ^ L'Agefi : Le voyagiste Odigeo se refinance en attendant son introduction en Bourse, February 11, 2013
  40. ^ Capital-Investissement : AXA Private Equity prend 6% de Bravofly, September 21, 2010
  41. ^ Nutra Ingredients : Diana sale to AXA Private Equity confirmed, June 06, 2007
  42. ^ Financial Times : AXA puts Spotless up for sale, February 3, 2010
  43. ^ Unquote, AXA Private equity wins Keolis, November 15, 2006
  44. ^ L'Usine Nouvelle : Axa Private Equity prend le contrôle de Camaïeu, January 13, 2005
  45. ^ L'Agefi : veut asseoir sa place de leader sur internet, October 13, 2006
  46. ^ Real Deals : Axa Private Equity closes spin-off, March 25,2013
  47. ^ The Wall Street Journal : Ardian Snags $1.3B Portfolio From GE Capital, April 29, 2014
  48. ^ OMERS to Sell Fund Commitments to AXA Private Equity, July 3, 2012
  49. ^ Reuters: Citigroup sells private equity assets to AXA unit, June 08, 2011

See also[edit]

Articles connexes[edit]

External links[edit]