Brodies, Burness join Bakers, Freshfields on £740m Barclays deal

Baker & McKenzie, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Scottish firms Brodies and Burness have advised on AXA Private Equity’s acquisition of a £740m portfolio of funds interests from Barclays.

A team from Baker & McKenzie, led by Paris-based private equity partner Bruno Bertrand, advised AXA Private Equity on the transaction. Burness provided Scottish law advice to AXA Private Equity, led by partner Alan Soppitt.

Teams from Freshfields, led by partner Karen Fountain, and Brodies partner Alistair Campbell advised Barclays on the deal, which marks another step in the bank’s move away from its alternative asset strategy in light of tighter regulation.

The transaction will see AXA Secondary Fund V acquire a portfolio of 22 limited partnership interests in private equity buyout funds, as well as a number of stakes in co-investment vehicles.

It is the latest in a number of major acquisitions by AXA Private Equity’s secondary fund of funds and continues its strategy of offering liquidity to large institutions looking to monetise their private equity investments.

Baker & McKenzie also advised the private equity firm on its $1.7bn purchase of leveraged buyout assets from Citigroup earlier this month, as well as its $1.9bn purchase of an investment portfolio from Bank of America in April 2010 and its acquisition of a $779m stake in the private equity holdings of French bank Natixis.

Bertrand commented: “This is a very significant transaction in what continues to be a very buoyant secondary transactions market.”