GE Reportedly Selling Private Equity Unit to France's Ardian

Sep 24 2015 | 7:59pm ET

General Electric has reportedly struck a deal to sell its private equity unit to Paris-based alternative asset manager Ardian for about $500 million.
The $50 billion French manager was the winning bidder in an auction process earlier this month managed by Evercore Partners, according to a Bloomberg article citing two unidentified people familiar with the matter. 
The disposition of GE Capital Equity is one of the final steps in GE’s process of unwinding its alternative investment operations. It sold most of its real estate portfolio to Blackstone and Wells Fargo for $23 billion back in April, while in June it sold its U.S. sponsor finance group, including Antares Capital, for $12 billion. 
The division is expected to continue to managing assets and may receive additional capital from its new owner, according to the article, although specifics are still being worked out. GE Capital Equity has a portfolio of approximately $1 billion.
Ardian, which has $50 billion in assets under management and was founded by Dominique Senequier as AXA Private Equity in 1996, has acquired GE assets before. In March last year, the firm bought 350 stakes in buyout funds of U.S. market managers for about $1 billion.

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