Ardian (company)

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Privately held company
Industry Private equity
Predecessor AXA Private Equity
Founded 1996; 21 years ago (1996)
Founder Dominique Senequier
Headquarters Paris, France
Number of locations
Paris, London, Frankfurt, Milan, Madrid, Zurich, New York, San Francisco, Beijing, Singapore, Jersey, Luxembourg
Area served
Europe, North America, Asia
Key people
Dominique Senequier, Vincent Gombault, Dominique Gaillard, Benoît Verbrugghe, Mathias Burghardt, Olivier Decannière, Jérémie Delecourt, Philippe Poletti
Products Funds of funds, direct funds, private debt and infrastructure, real estate, mandates
Total assets US$55bn
Number of employees

Ardian (formerly AXA Private Equity), is a France-based, independent private equity investment company, founded and managed by Dominique Senequier.[1]

Ardian manages assets worth US $55 billion in Europe, North America and Asia.[2]

The company offers a range of funds including Funds of Funds, Direct Funds, Infrastructure and Private Debt and Real Estate.

Ardian's 433 investors include institutional investors, Funds of Funds, government agencies, sovereign funds, family offices, pension funds and insurance companies).[3]

Ardian manages a direct portfolio of more than 130 companies, including Vinci Park, London Luton Airport and SPIE.

Ardian has been ranked one of the largest companies by amount raised in equity by Private Equity International.[4]

Ardian was named "Company of the Year" 2013 by the readers of Private Equity International.[5]


Originally a subsidiary of AXA, the company operated under the name AXA Private Equity until 2013, when the firm achieved independent status and was renamed to Ardian.

In 1996, Claude Bébéar, founder and former AXA CEO, tasked Dominique Senequier with the creation of a private equity entity at AXA. Based in Paris, AXA Private Equity started off with 10 clients and 100 million euros worth of assets.[6] The first investment took place in 1998 in the GSI Banque company Linedata.[7]

In 1999, the opened offices in London and New York. That same year, it launched its Funds of Funds investment strategy.[8]

In 2001, the company entered the German market by opening an office in Frankfurt.[9]

In 2005, Ardian opened an office in Singapore and entered the Asian market.[10] The same year, the company launched its Infrastructure investment strategy.

As a result of the 2007 financial crisis, the company postponed all new operations and instead focused on the management of its portfolio, in an effort to shield 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.[11][12]

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.[13][14]

The same year Ardian adopted the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) implemented by the UNPRI and published its CSR Charter.[15]

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[16] and a US $900 million portfolio from Natixis.[17]

In 2012, the company opened an office in Beijing in order to invest on the Chinese market.[18]

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.[19]

In 2013, Private Equity International ranked Ardian in the largest private equity firms by PE capital raised[20] and named it Company of the Year 2013 in France.[21]

On 2 September 2015, Ardian opened an office in Madrid, Spain.[22]

On 7 September 2015, Ardian announced the launch of Ardian Real Estate, dedicated to investment in non-residential properties in Europe.[23]

On 7 October 2015, Ardian opened an office in San Francisco, USA.[24]


The company operates on five business segments:[25]

• Funds of funds, which manages approximately $36 billion of assets[26] focusing on primary, early secondary and secondary Funds of Funds.

• Direct funds, which manages approximately $9 billion.

• Infrastructure, which manages approximately $7 billion.

• Private debt, which manages approximately $3 billion.

• Real Estate, launched September 2015.

Funds of funds[edit]

The fund of funds business segment at Ardian was launched in 1998 and now manages $36 billion of assets.[26]

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[27] and GE Capital.[28]

Between 2012 and 2014, Ardian deployed $7 billion into Fund of Funds transactions.[29]

In 2014, Ardian has deployed more than US $10 billion in secondary transactions.[30]

Direct funds[edit]

The direct funds segment at Ardian manages approximately $9 billion of assets.[31] 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 that began in 2005, when large buyout transactions require a strategic partnership).

• Ardian Growth (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 $7 billion of assets. It includes investments in water, gas and electricity grids, toll roads and renewable energies.[31]

Ardian's third infrastructure fund closed at €1.75 billion (including co-investments) of which 45% is already invested,[32] notably through the acquisition of the London Luton Airport,[33] the fourth-largest airport serving the London area, and of Vinci Park, specialized in construction, financing and operation of car parks in 14 countries around the world.

Ardian's fourth generation of infrastructure fund was closed in January 2016 at €2.65 billion.[34]

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Private debt[edit]

The private debt segment at Ardian was launched in 2005 and manages approximately $3 billion worth of assets.[31] Ardian has completed 8 unitranche lending deals that range from €40 million to €275 million.

Since 2010, Ardian has provided, on average, €500 million financing per year.[35]

In 2014, the private debt team provided €255 million subordinated financing for Ceva Santé Animale,[36] as well as a £40 million unitranche financing facility to EAT.

In September 2015, Ardian closed its third generation of private debt fund of €2 billion.[35]

Real Estate[edit]

Ardian Real Estate was launched in September 2015 under the management of Bertrand Julien-Laferrière.[37] Its goal is to invest in commercial and non-residential real estate assets in continental Europe, starting with France, Italy and Germany.[38]

Governance and management[edit]

Ardian was founded and is managed by Dominique Senequier, who was one of the first seven women admitted to the French Ecole Polytechnique in France in 1972.[39]

The management team also includes:

• Vincent Gombault, head of Ardian’s Funds of Funds and Private Debt [40]

• Dominique Gaillard, head of Ardian's Direct Funds[41]

• Benoît Verbrugghe, head of Ardian USA[42]

• Mathias Burghardt, head of Ardian Infrastructure [43]

• Olivier Decannière, head of Ardian UK [44]

• Jérémie Delecourt, Corporate and International Development [45]

• Philippe Poletti, head of Ardian Mid Cap Buyout [46]

Key figures[edit]

• $55 billion of assets (managed or advised)[47]

• 130 companies in the direct funds portfolio

• 410 employees (2015)

• 12 offices (Northern America, Europe and Asia)

• $11 billion raised in 2014

• 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 2015, 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.
2015 SIACI Saint Honoré Mid Cap Buyout France [48]
2015 Chal-Tec Expansion Germany [49]
2014 Schleich Mid Cap Buyout Germany [50]
2014 Vinci Park Infrastructure France [51]
2013 The Flexitallic Group Private Debt US [52]
2013 London Luton Airport Infrastructure UK [53]
2012 Bulkypix Ardian Croissance France [54]
2012 Frostkrone Expansion Germany [55]
2012 Ceva Private Debt France [56]
2011 SPIE Co-Investment France [57]
2011 Odigeo Mid Cap Buyout Spain [58]
2010 Bravofly Ardian Croissance Switzerland [59]
2007 Diana Ingredients Mid Cap Buyout France [60]
2007 Spotless Group Mid Cap Buyout France [61]
2006 Keolis Co-Investment France [62]
2005 Camaïeu Mid Cap Buyout France [63]
2000 Ardian Croissance France [64]

Funds of Funds[edit]

In 2015, Ardian Funds of Funds' portfolio has about 1,200 funds with 10,000 underlying companies.[65]

Year Seller Type of assets Size of transaction ($m) Ref.
2015 PSERS Secondaries 1,750 [66]
2014 GE Capital Secondaries 1,300 [67]
2012 OMERS Secondaries 850 [68]
2011 Citi Secondaries 1,700 [69]
2010 Bank of America Secondaries 1,900 [16]


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  2. ^ "Ardian celebrates first year of independence by hitting $50bn AUM". AltAssets. 2 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "Ardian Raises $9bn to buy bank assets". Financial Times. 23 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "Private Equity International" (PDF). 
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  7. ^ "Our history". Linedata. 
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  10. ^ "AXA Private Equity plans Asian expansion; office opening and new fund of funds". Alt Assets. 26 May 2005. 
  11. ^ "Industry bodies to debate profit-sharing disclosure". Private Equity News. 21 July 2008. 
  12. ^ Senequier, Dominique (29 May 2008). "Vive le LBO pour tous les salariés !". Le Monde (in French). 
  13. ^ "Infra funds should adapt to offer co-investment, says Ardian". IJ Global. 1 April 2014. 
  14. ^ "Risk, return, and cashflow characteristics of private equity investments in infrastructur" (PDF). CAIA. 
  15. ^ "Merged Public Transparency Report Ardian 2014" (PDF). 
  16. ^ a b "BofA Sells $1.9 Billion in Assets to Axa P.E". The New York Times. 22 April 2010. 
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  20. ^ "Les plus importants fonds d'investissement du monde". Le Journal du Net (in French). 30 June 2014. 
  21. ^ "Private Equity International Annual Review" (PDF). 2013. p. 64. 
  22. ^ "Ardian Opens Madrid Office". 
  23. ^ "Ardiab Launches Real Estate Activity". 
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  26. ^ a b Ardian website : Key figures
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  31. ^ a b c "Ardian - Activity Report 2014". Retrieved 2015-12-04. 
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  34. ^ "Ardian closes fourth infrastructure fund on €2.65bn | AltAssets Private Equity News". Retrieved 2016-02-15. 
  35. ^ a b "Ardian secures 2.25b for european focused private debt fund". 
  36. ^ "ARDIAN investit 255 M€ en financement subordonné pour CEVA SANTE ANIMALE". Fusacq Buzz. 18 July 2014. 
  37. ^ "Ardian names real estate chief". 
  38. ^ "Ardian launches real estate arm". 
  39. ^ "Axa's private equity powerhouse". Financial Times. 29 September 2013. 
  40. ^ "Vincent Gombault's profile". Businessweek. Bloomberg. 
  41. ^ "Dominique Gaillard's profile". Businessweek. Bloomberg. 
  42. ^ "Benoît Verbrugghe's profile". Businessweek. Bloomberg. 
  43. ^ "Mathias Burghardt's Profile". 
  44. ^ "Olivier Decannière's Profile". 
  45. ^ "Jérémie Delecourt". 
  46. ^ "Philippe Poletti's Profile". 
  47. ^ "Key figures". Ardian. 
  48. ^ "Ardian acquires Siaci Saint Honore". 
  49. ^ "Ardian acquires 40 stake in Chal-Tec". 
  50. ^ "French Ardian buys German toymaker Schleich". Reuters. 18 May 2014. 
  51. ^ "Deal in Focus: Ardian backs €1.96bn Vinci Park buyout". Unquote. 24 February 2014. 
  52. ^ "Ardian supports Bridgeport's acquisition of The Flexitallic Group". PE HUB. 20 October 2013. 
  53. ^ "AXA Private Equity: why we bought Luton Airport". eFinancial News. 1 August 2013. 
  54. ^ "AXA Private Equiy acquires a stake in Bulkypix to support the company". Finance Monthly. 30 May 2012. 
  55. ^ "AXA Private Equity buys majority of Frostkrone". Market Watch. 1 August 2012. 
  56. ^ "AXA Private Equity soutient le développement de Ceva en structurant un financement additionnel" (in French). Ceva. 30 October 2014. 
  57. ^ "CD&R and its partners AXA Private Equity and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec complete SPIE acquisition". Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. 31 May 2011. 
  58. ^ "Le voyagiste Odigeo se refinance en attendant son introduction en Bourse". L'Agefi. 11 February 2013. 
  59. ^ "Capital-Investissement AXA Private Equity prend 6% de Bravofly" (in French). 21 September 2010. 
  60. ^ "Diana sale to AXA Private Equity confirmed". Nutra Ingredients. 6 June 2007. 
  61. ^ "AXA puts Spotless up for sale". Financial Times. 3 February 2010. 
  62. ^ "AXA Private equity wins Keolis". Unquote. 15 November 2006. 
  63. ^ "Axa Private Equity prend le contrôle de Camaïeu". L'Usine Nouvelle (in French). 13 January 2005. 
  64. ^ " veut asseoir sa place de leader sur internet". L'Agefi (in French). 13 October 2006. 
  65. ^ "Axa Private Equity closes spin-off". Real Deals. 25 March 2013. 
  66. ^ "Ardian Snaps up 1.75bn portfolio from PSERS". 
  67. ^ "Ardian Snags $1.3B Portfolio From GE Capital". The Wall Street Journal. 29 April 2014. 
  68. ^ "OMERS to Sell Fund Commitments to AXA Private Equity". 3 July 2012. 
  69. ^ "Citigroup sells private equity assets to AXA unit". Reuters. 8 June 2011. 

See also[edit]

Articles connexes[edit]

External links[edit]