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AXA PE to buy $500m Mizuho portfolio

27 Sep 2011

The buy-out arm of European insurance group AXA has agreed to buy $500m of secondary private equity commitments from Japanese banking giant Mizuho.

AXA Private Equity will acquire a portfolio of around 20 investment in predominantly US and European investment vehicles managed by private equity heavyweights such as KKR, BC Partners Blackstone and EQT Partners. British private equity firm 3i will manage the holdings for the firm, according to Reuters.

The news follows a slew of cases involving large banks shedding buy-out commitments to keep in line with recent regulation, which demands that financial institutions increase capital buffers to cushion riskier investments. The firm said it expects banks to divest as much as $50bn worth of assets to meet the requirements.

AXA Private Equity, which is said to be raising about $3.5bn to acquire such assets, bought the Mizuho commitments at a discount to net value as of 31 December. It has amassed $3.7bn worth of shed assets within the last four months, including a €620m portfolio from HSH Nordbank.

The news follows reports last week that AXA has appointed Credit Suisse to sell its $28bn private equity division, which could fetch as much as £1bn.

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