BlackRock agreed to acquire Swiss Re Private Equity Partners, a private equity and infrastructure business with about $7.5 billion in total commitments as of May 31, BlackRock spokesman Marc Bubeck said.
Terms were not disclosed.
SRPEP will be combined with BlackRock's existing private equity funds-of-funds group, BlackRock Private Equity Partners. The integrated unit will have a combined $15 billion in total commitments, with 100 staff members worldwide.
Russell Steenberg, managing director and head of BlackRock Private Equity Partners, will lead the combined business, which will assume the BlackRock brand. Christian Hinze, CEO of Swiss Re Private Equity Partners, will join BlackRock as deputy head of the new unit.
The transaction, which is expected to close in August, will expand the BlackRock unit's footprint in Europe and Asia, as well extend its capabilities in infrastructure investing, according to Mr. Bubeck. BlackRock PEP invests in primary funds, secondaries and direct co-investments.
“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,” Matthew Botein, managing director and head of BlackRock Alternative Investors, said in a news release about the deal. BlackRock PEP is a division of BlackRock Alternative Investors.
Rolf Tanner, spokesman for Swiss Re, said the insurance company will continue to invest in private equity and infrastructure through the combined unit. “We're selling the platform, not the underlying assets,” Mr. Tanner added.
Swiss Re's private equity business was sold to private equity firm Horizon21 in 2006, and then repurchased in 2009. “We continued to expand the platform, which has reached a critical size,” Mr. Tanner said. The combination with BlackRock is seen as “a good way forward.”