June 18, 2012 / 2:18 AM / 7 years ago

Axa raises $7 billion fund for buyout deals: report

The AXA Asia Pacific logo sign is seen at its headquarters in Melbourne December 14, 2009. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Axa Private Equity has raised $7.1 billion from outside investors marking the largest fund targeting investors looking to sell out of their buyout positions, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

The investment arm of the French insurance group will focus on “secondaries” deals, in which it buys stakes in buyout funds such as KKR (KKR.N) and Permira from the investors that originally backed them but are now looking to cash out, the report said.

AXA could not immediately be reached for comment.

The figure is double the amount originally foreseen by Axa, reflecting the increase in interest from financial groups such as pension funds, insurance companies and banks to amend or sell off their private equity positions, the report said.

The trend has been driven by regulatory changes where capital requirement rules have made it more expensive for banks and financial institutions to own illiquid and relatively risky private equity positions. These firms are now selling their private equity interests at a discount.

Reporting By Nadia Damouni and Rosalba O'Brien in London; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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