In March 2013, French insurance company Groupama’s private equity unit was put up for sale following pressure from regulators to improve its solvency ratios. Groupama had a real need for liquidity and to offset large losses incurred by its holdings of equities and Greek sovereign debt. It was announced that ACG Group would be the buyer of Groupama Private Equity (GPE) and by the end of April 2013, the acquisition was finalized.
GPE’s divisions that were included in the sale are the Quartilium fund of funds arm, which has €1.4bn of assets under management (AUM), and mezzanine debt unit ActoMezz, which has €220mn in AUM. As a result of the transaction, the merged group will have around €3.5bn of assets under management and GPE will change its name to ACG Capital. Following the takeover, Groupama will retain all its investments in the funds managed by GPE.
Groupama Private Equity has successfully raised an aggregate total of over €1.3bn since 2000 via a number of private equity vehicles. The largest of these was Quartilium III, which closed on €340mn in 2007. Part of the firm’s generalist fund of fund series, Quartilium III was predominantly European-focused, with up to 75% of committed capital being invested in the region. A range of 25% to 45% of capital is allocated to the US, while up to 10% may be invested elsewhere, with a specific focus on Asia.
The fund of funds platform of GPE included allocations for both primary and secondary private equity investments. For the former, the unit had a core focus on buyouts and venture capital. Its secondaries strategy sought opportunities in a large spectrum of fund types, from traditional buyout funds to more niche strategies such as natural resources. Furthermore, as of March 2013, GPE was managing four separate account mandates, collectively worth €400mn and accounting for 29% of its assets under management.