AXA PE moves step closer in Credit Agricole deal

AXA Private Equity is close to agreeing a deal to buy part of Credit Agricole’s private equity portfolio – see evcj July/August, page 6. More details have now emerged and the assets total around €600m, with €200m of direct investments. The remaining €300m includes stakes in a range of funds, including Blackstone, Carlyle, Cinven, PAI and Providence.

Pragma Capital, a joint venture buyout fund set up in 2002 between Credit Agricole and Credit Lyonnais before the merger of the two banks, will come under complete control of AXA. Pragma was involved in one of the largest European buyouts of 2003 when, along with Eurazeo, it acquired Fraikin, the truck-rental unit of Fiat, for €692m.

AXA is also set to begin raising a secondaries fund with a target of approximately €650m. AXA Private Equity has only recently closed its second fund-of-funds, which will invest in funds that are over 50% drawn down.