AXA SA hired Credit Suisse Group to explore a sale of its private equity fund manager, as it seeks to focus on insurance, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions.
The unit, AXA Private Equity, may be valued at about €500 million ($672 million), said the person, who declined to be identified because the talks are private. AXA may decide to retain a stake in the operation, and the management of AXA Private Equity may also buy a stake, the person said.
Emmanuel Touzeau, an AXA spokesman, declined to comment, as did a spokeswoman for Credit Suisse in London.
AXA Private Equity manages about $28 billion of assets for mostly third-party investors including pension funds and sovereign wealth funds. It holds stakes in U.S. and European buyout funds run by firms including Blackstone Group, KKR & Co. and BC Partners. It also invests directly in midsized companies and infrastructure projects in Europe.