Reuters – AXA Raises $8bn for Two Funds

AXA Private Equity has raised $8 billion for two of its funds, writes Reuters. Demand for the fundraising was from pension funds, government agencies and family offices in North America, the Middle-East and Asia, according to Reuters.

Reuters – AXA Private Equity has raised $8 billion for two of its funds, the company said on Monday, most of which it will use to take assets off the hands of banks cutting down their exposure in the face of rampant regulation.

Demand for the fund-raising was from pension funds, government agencies and family offices in North America, the Middle-East and Asia, the group said.

Banks, grappling with tighter regulation and weak balance sheets, are in a rush to off-load private equity assets they bought into before the crisis, in what are known as “secondary buy-outs”.

“AXA Private Equity predicts a significant increase in activity in the secondary market over the next two years,” the firm, the investment arm of French insurance group Axa (AXAF.PA), said in a press release.

AXA Private Equity expected between $40 billion and $50 billion of bank assets to come up as a result.

Of the total money raised, $7.1 billion was for AXA Private Equity’s secondary fund of funds and $900 million for its primary fund of funds, the group said.

Secondary buy-outs are an increasingly important source of income for private equity firms, which are struggling to seal the debt-loaded buy-outs that thrived before the crisis.

The former head of Britain’s biggest mobile phone company Everything Everywhere approached private equity groups six months ago about an 8 billion pound ($12.51 billion) buy-out, but found no takers, sources said this weekend.