BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement whereby it will acquire Swiss Re Private Equity Partners AG (“SRPEP”), the European private equity and infrastructure fund of funds franchise of Swiss Re. BlackRock and Swiss Re have also entered into a strategic alternative investment relationship agreement, centered on BlackRock Alternative Investors (“BAI”), which reinforces Swiss Re’s current investments in SRPEP products and establishes other future Swiss Re commitments to the BAI platform.
Operating from Zurich, Hong Kong, New York and Bratislava, SRPEP had $7.5 billion in total commitments at May 31, 2012, including a significant commitment from Swiss Re as it invested alongside its clients. SRPEP will be integrated with BlackRock’s existing private equity fund of funds group – BlackRock Private Equity Partners (“BRPEP”). The transaction extends BRPEP’s investment capabilities into infrastructure investing, expands its European and Asian footprint, and establishes the unit’s presence in Switzerland where BlackRock has a long-standing presence and history of service through employees in Zurich and Geneva.
With approximately $15 billion in client commitments, the unified platform brings together a group of exceptionally talented professionals and a strong line-up of complementary products. The team will invest in primary funds, secondaries and direct co-investment opportunities through core fund of funds, direct co-investment programs and other offerings.
“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,” said Matthew Botein, Managing Director and Head of BlackRock Alternative Investors. “We are thrilled to be welcoming Swiss Re Private Equity Partners to BlackRock and believe its well-respected capabilities enhance our ability to deliver innovative solutions to our global client base. BlackRock values its long-standing business relationship with Swiss Re and we are very pleased to be deepening that commitment through this transaction and strategic partnership.”