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Ardian said to buy US$1 billion of GIC private-equity fund stakes

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Ardian, the French alternative asset manager, agreed to buy a portfolio of private-equity fund stakes worth about US$1 billion from Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte, people with knowledge of the matter said.

[PARIS] Ardian, the French alternative asset manager, agreed to buy a portfolio of private-equity fund stakes worth about US$1 billion from Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The private-equity firm made a preemptive offer to GIC at a premium to book value to avoid an auction, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. A spokeswoman for Paris-based Ardian declined to comment, while a spokeswoman for GIC didn't respond to e-mail requests for comment.

Ardian has been one of the most active buyers of stakes in private-equity funds. The company raised US$9 billion to invest in what are known as secondary deals earlier this year, even as those kinds of transactions are becoming more difficult to complete. Buyout firms are selling more assets, making the stakes more valuable.

The agreement with GIC comes just weeks after a deal to buy a US$1.5 billion portfolio of fund stakes from the Abu Dhabi Investment Council, a government-controlled fund manager, collapsed following valuation concerns.

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