By Ilonka Oudenampsen
BlackRock today announced it will acquire Swiss Re Private Equity Partners AG (SRPEP), the European private equity and infrastructure fund of funds franchise of Swiss Re.
The two companies have also entered into a strategic alternative investment relationship agreement, centered on BlackRock Alternative Investors (BAI). It will reinforce Swiss Re’s current investments in SRPEP products and establishes other future Swiss Re commitments to the BAI platform, BlackRock said in a statement.
At 31 May 2012, SRPEP had $7.5bn in total commitments. It will be integrated with BlackRock’s existing private equity fund of funds group, BlackRock Private Equity Partners (BRPEP), thus extending BRPEP’s investment capabilities into infrastructure investing, expanding its European and Asian footprint and establishing the unit’s presence in Switzerland.
With approximately $15bn in client commitments, the unified platform will invest in primary funds, secondaries and direct co-investment opportunities through core fund of funds, direct co-investment programs and other offerings.
“In an environment where yields are low and volatility is high, clients around the world are embracing alternatives which offer higher return potential and the ability to mitigate risk,” said managing director and head of BAI Matthew Botein.
“We are thrilled to be welcoming Swiss Re Private Equity Partners to BlackRock and believe its well-respected capabilities enhance our ability to deliver innovative solutions to our global client base. BlackRock values its long-standing business relationship with Swiss Re and we are very pleased to be deepening that commitment through this transaction and strategic partnership.”
Managing director and head of BRPEP Russell Steenberg will continue to lead the combined unit, while SRPEP chief executive officer Christian Hinze will join BlackRock as deputy head of the combined business. There are no changes expected to the investment strategy or style of either business’s existing offerings, each of which will continue to be managed by members of their existing portfolio management teams.
Following the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter of 2012.