Via Financial Times

Goldman Sachs’ Petershill unit is in talks to buy a stake in the private equity firm Permira, which would value the buyout group at more than $5bn, people familiar with the matter said.

Under the proposed deal, which is in its early stages and could still fall apart, Petershill would pay €500m for a minority stake in the London-based buyout firm, the people said.

The talks were first reported by the Wall Street Journal. Permira and Goldman Sachs declined to comment.

The bank’s Petershill unit is one of a series of players that have been set up to take stakes in private equity and alternative investment groups, seeking to benefit from the management and performance fees that they generate. Such deals are in part a bet that private equity firms will be able to raise significant new funds.

Dyal Capital Partners, a unit of Neuberger Berman, had also expressed interest in the Permira stake, one person added.

Deals of this kind can enable buyout groups to expand into new areas, fund technology investments or make acquisitions, and can also enable founding partners to monetise their stakes and retire. The deals tend to dilute the profit pot for existing partners.

The purpose of the Permira deal would not be to allow an individual to leave, but instead to enable the business to grow, a person familiar with the matter said.

A 2019 report from the consultancy Bain & Company found that Dyal Capital, Blackstone’s Strategic Capital Holdings, Petershill and AlpInvest Partners had collectively raised more than $17bn to buy equity stakes in private equity groups since 2012 and were seeking to raise $14bn more.

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In another sign of private equity groups’ willingness to snap up assets in their own back yard, Blackstone last year bought a stake of between 10 and 15 per cent in its private equity rival BC Partners for about €500m.