PARIS Aug 21 French insurer AXA is
close to a long-awaited deal to sell control of its private
equity unit to its management company, with an agreement
possible as soon as September, Financial News reported on
The company first disclosed that it was undertaking a
"strategic review" of the unit, which has been particularly
active in buying portfolios of private equity holdings from
large banks, last September.
An AXA spokeswoman declined to comment on the report, and
the insurer said at the time of its earnings release earlier
this month only that the strategic review was continuing.
AXA Private Equity declined to comment.
Speculation about possible buyers initially focused on
Canada's Caisse des Depots du Quebec and Singapore's sovereign
wealth fund. Financial News said a management buyout was now the
most likely outcome.
Financial News, which cited two sources, said Caisse des
Depots du Quebec was still likely to invest in the spin-out
alongside other current investors in AXA Private Equity funds.
AXA would retain a minority stake in the venture, which will
keep the AXA Private Equity name for the next two years,
according to the report.
(Reporting By Christian Plumb, additional reporting Matthieu