JPMorgan Chase, which is planning to break off its buyout unit, is in talks to sell about $4 billion of private-equity stakes to an investor group, said three people familiar with the situation.

The potential buyers examining the holdings include Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Coller Capital Ltd., Lexington Partners, HarbourVest Partners LLC, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Ardian, said two of the people. They asked not to be named because the talks are private.

The investor group would also provide capital for new deals to One Equity Partners, the private-equity arm of JPMorgan that's in the process of becoming an independent firm. The business, which used to invest the bank's own money, will begin raising its next fund from an external group of investors, the bank said in June. JPMorgan joins banks including Credit Suisse Group AG and Citigroup Inc. in cutting back private-equity holdings to focus on its main businesses.

Tasha Pelio, a spokeswoman for JPMorgan, declined to comment, as did officials for the investment firms.

Citigroup, the third-biggest U.S. lender, agreed in September to sell its emerging-markets private-equity unit to the Rohatyn Group to comply with new curbs on bank investments. Credit Suisse, Switzerland's second-biggest bank, in February struck a deal to sell its stake in the first fund of Global Infrastructure Partners to Lexington Partners Inc., according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The bank in August agreed to sell its private-equity, infrastructure and real estate investment business to Grosvenor Capital Management LP.

Ardian, the private-equity firm formerly known as AXA Private Equity, this year agreed to buy 250 million euros ($338 million) in buyout fund stakes from Mizuho Financial Group Inc., two people familiar with the situation said in October.

One Equity Partners is seeking more than $1.5 billion in fresh capital from buyers to put into new deals, said two of the people familiar. JPMorgan may provide a loan to finance the deal, said the people.

Since its founding in 2001, One Equity Partners has managed about $14 billion in total investments and committed capital for the bank, according to the firm's website. One Equity Partners typically invests $50 million to $250 million per deal. It makes minority and majority investments globally.

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