Credit Agricole has jettisoned its private equity division in a deal with secondaries specialist Coller Capital.
The sale of Credit Agricole Private Equity has been made to boost the bank's capital, and will reduce Credit Agricole's risk-weighted assets by around €900m.
Credit Agricole said the move will optimise capital allocation and that it will continue to finance SMEs through vehicles owned by Credit Agricole Regional Banks, as well as through IDIA, a partner that provides equity and quasi equity financing to agribusinesses.
The deal marks the latest in-house private equity desk to leave its banking parent and follows the spin-out of Barclays Private Equity to become Equistone Partners Europe last month.
Credit Agricole last week announced that it would report a loss for 2011 and cull 2,350 jobs as Europe's debt crisis threatens to plunge the continent back into recession.
Coller is currently raising its latest fund with an estimated target of $6.5bn (€5bn) for buying private equity fund stakes. It last closed on $4.8bn in 2007, then the biggest fund ever raised for second-hand buyout assets.