AMG eyes future Asian affiliates – Exclusive

Following its investment in Baring Private Equity Asia, the US-based firm is interested in partnering with other Asian alternative asset managers.

US-based Affiliated Managers Group (AMG), which has made its first foray into private equity in Asia by acquiring a 15 percent passive interest in Baring Private Equity Asia, expects to pursue more investments in the region.

The asset management company is ‘very interested’ in partnering with more Asian alternative asset management firms, a source with knowledge of the transaction told Private Equity International.

Baring Asia transaction was financed from AMG’s pool of about $1 billion in cash available for investments, rather than through private equity capital, the source said. The value was undisclosed.

AMG has also committed to investing in future funds of the firm.

AMG's initial value proposition to firms it invests in is to provide liquidity to facilitate succession planning, the source said.

Baring Asia’s senior partners will continue to hold a majority stake in the business and manage its day-to-day operations, according to a statement. As part of the transaction, Baring Asia’s leadership has also agreed to long-term commitments with the firm.

Baring Asia declined to comment further than a statement that said it will use AMG’s investment to fund the growth of its business and further align interests between its limited partners and staff at the firm.

Baring closed its Asia Fund VI at a record amount of $4 billion last year. Acquisitions from the fund include the purchase of Vistra Group from IK Investment Partners at roughly $1.1 billion and Orangefield Group, a global fund administration and corporate services firm, through AAC Capital Partners for an undisclosed amount, as reported by PEI.

The firm manages more than $9 billion in committed capital, sponsoring management buyouts and providing growth capital to companies for expansion or acquisitions with currently more than 30 portfolio companies across Asia with 95,000 employees and revenues of approximately $30 billion in 2014.

AMG is a NYSE-listed company with approximately $620 billion in assets under management in aggregate across three dozen affiliates. Last year, the firm completed three other major agreements to acquire equity stakes in UK firm Systematica Investments, California-based investment firm Ivory Investment Management and South African fund management business Abax Investments.

Its business strategy is to partner with independent investment management firms around the world, with its affiliates retaining substantial equity and operational autonomy in their own firms.

AMG is very interested in finding global and alternative asset managers with an excellent track record, specialised process, and an experienced management team, the source added.

In November, AMG subsidiaries AMG Funds and Pantheon Ventures have launched AMG Pantheon Fund, which allows accredited retail investors to make a single, minimum $25,000 investment, as reported by PEI.