AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) is poised to launch a private debt distribution partnership with Capzanine, a specialist debt investor in the small and medium-sized business sector.

The agreement forms part of a proposed €82m transaction that will see AXA IM and AXA France buy out French investment company Eurazeo’s stake in Capzanine.

According to a statement from Eurazeo, the AXA companies “and other investors” will take on Eurazeo’s investments in Capzanine funds.

Once the transaction is complete, AXA IM and AXA France will own 46% of Capzanine in total, with the latter company’s management owning the rest of the shares.

Before the transaction, AXA France owned 22% of Capzanine. AXA and Capzanine first formed a partnership in 2005.

The private debt collaboration would grant Capzanine access to AXA IM’s €38bn structured finance platform, the companies said in a joint statement, opening up its offerings to pension funds, insurers, and family offices.

Pascal Christory, chief investment officer at AXA Group, said: “This collaboration strengthens our access to innovative, diversifying products and stable, attractive returns through the proven performance of a highly reputed management company. These investments allow AXA companies to participate in the financing of the growth of the European real economy.”

Andrea Rossi, CEO of AXA IM, added: “Complementing our investment capabilities selectively to better meet the needs of our customers is one of our strategic priorities. This partnership fits perfectly into this framework by strengthening our alternative investment offer.”

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

AXA IM last year announced a €100m investment programme aimed at restructuring its business and increasing its offerings in alternative asset classes.

In December, it announced a scaling up of its use of artificial intelligence technologies and making investments into digital services, data analysis and science capabilities in order to improve efficiency and “identify new sources of alpha”.