USS sells interests in 13 private equity funds to Ardian

Universities Superannuation Scheme Ltd (USS) confirms that it has sold its limited partnership interests in 13 private equity funds with assets and unfunded commitments of approximately £640 million ($940 million) to Ardian.

The transactions, which closed on 31 December 2015, were executed by USS Investment Management Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of USS and its principal investment manager and advisor.

The sale of these interests to Ardian through the secondary market, furthers USS’s strategy of optimising its portfolio of fund interests as it increases its direct investing activity. USS will continue actively committing to a concentrated group of GPs with whom it will work in partnership, including co-investments and direct investments. The fact that USS has sold an interest in a fund will not preclude it from allocating to the manager of that fund in future. USS received support from Evercore in executing this sale.

Geoffrey Geiger, Head of Private Equity, USS Investment Management Ltd said:

“The sale of these interests on the secondary market is an effective means of adapting our portfolio to reflect our shift towards greater direct investment. Within our private markets team direct investment experience extends across multiple asset classes, sectors and geographies. At the same time we recognise the value of investing in funds managed by GPs who share USS’s values and we will continue our active allocation strategy.”

Olivier Decanniere, Head of Ardian UK and Member of the Executive Committee, said:

“This is a significant acquisition highlighting our unique ability to complete large and complex transactions which offer secondary liquidity to large institutions. USS was looking to adapt its private equity portfolio and our scale and knowledge of the assets meant we were perfectly placed to support its strategy. USS is a well-established and experienced UK pension fund, and we’re delighted to have worked with it on this deal.”