So far during 2013, there have been a number of mergers within the private equity fund of funds industry, which illustrates how the economic environment remains challenging. The difficult fundraising environment for fund of funds vehicles, coupled with many institutional investors facing pressure to reduce their exposure to private equity, has contributed to consolidation within the industry.
The year started with the announcement that French insurance company, Groupama, was to sell its private equity fund of funds division, Groupama Private Equity, to ACG Group and form a new entity called ACG Capital. Later, Aberdeen Asset Management purchased a majority stake in private equity fund of funds manager, SVG Advisers, combining it with its own private equity business to create a new fund of funds manager with assets of almost £5bn.
In May 2013, Partners Group announced that it was to integrate its activities in Italy with Italian private equity fund of funds manager, Perennius Capital Partners. The two firms already had an existing strategic relationship, with the integration is expected to be completed in the following few months, subject to regulatory approval. Also in May, Natixis added to its portfolio of private equity fund of funds managers with the acquisition of a majority stake in Swiss fund of funds manager, Euro Private Equity. Euro Private Equity remains a stand-alone entity; other fund of funds managers under the Natixis umbrella are Caspian Private Equity, Dahlia Partners and Eagle Asia Partners.