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Credit Agricole to sell private equity unit to Coller Capital

French banking group Credit Agricole has agreed to sell its private-equity unit to Coller Capital, a London-based global investor in private equity's secondary market.

The sale includes substantially all of the funds managed by Credit Agricole Private Equity (CAPE) and owned by Credit Agricole Capital Investment Finance, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Credit Agricole.

The bank said its decision to sell its private equity unit forms part of a plan to optimize capital allocation and refocus the bank’s private equity activities on local business.

The sale will reduce Credit Agricole’s risk-weighted assets by about EUR900m.

The sale is subject to authorization from the competent authorities, which should be obtained in the first quarter of 2012.

Earlier in December 2011, CAPE sold its minority stake in Proman, a France-based temporary employment company, to its family shareholders as part of a sponsorless OBO.

Credit Agricole expects to post a net loss in 2011 and plans to slash 2,350 jobs worldwide amid Euro debt crisis.