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Amundi carries on consolidation trend with Alpha Associates deal

A tighter market is pushing managers to diversify and consolidate.

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Amundi CEO Valerie Baudson

Featured image by Joel Saget/Getty Images

Another day, another big private markets merger. This time it is French asset manager Amundi, which has struck a deal to buy Zurich-based fund-of-funds manager Alpha Associates.

The €350 million ($377 million) deal will expand the Paris-based giant’s assets under management—which includes private equity, venture capital, private debt and infrastructure—to around €20 billion. Amundi, which is led by CEO Valerie Baudson, will also considerably bolster its alternative offering, not only giving it Alpha’s €8.5 billion in private markets AUM but also its 20-year-plus experience in such markets as Switzerland, Germany and Austria.

The move reflects a consolidation trend we have been observing for some time both in Europe and the US. Last year we saw Luxembourg-headquartered CVC Capital Partners buy infrastructure manager DIF Capital Partners, while London-listed Bridgepoint picked up Energy Capital Partners. More recently, we saw BlackRock buy GIP for $12.5 billion.

Such merger activity follows a confluence of factors, among them the increasing clout of large-bracket managers, their need for greater diversification and a tough economic climate for small- to medium-sized managers.

Nicolas Moura, a PitchBook analyst who most recently noted the increased rate of consolidation in the 2023 European Annual PE Breakdown, said this:

“We have seen a consolidation in financial services in 2023 as a consequence of monetary tightening which has put pressure on the sector as a whole. We are now seeing which players are financially sound and can expand through M&A, absorbing those which have been exposed by higher rates and a correction in markets.”

Given the current rate at which these mergers are happening and the current state of the market, I expect to be writing more on this trend this year. In the meantime, I direct you to my last analysis on the possible consequences of having even more mega-managers emerge in the private equity space.

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