Ant Capital to hold $140m close on fifth fund – Exclusive

The firm has so far been backed by Japanese regional banks and pensions but commitments from international LPs are expected by final close.

Tokyo-based buyout firm Ant Capital Partners expects to hold a first close by end of January on its biggest buyout vehicle, Private Equity International has learned.

The firm, seeking $350 million for its fifth buyout fund in the Catalyzer series, has so far raised almost half of its initial target and is well on its way toward a $250 million second close, according to a source with knowledge of the matter. The firm expects to hold a final close by the end of the year.

Ant Capital began fundraising in August last year with an initial target of $300 million and increased it to $350 after seeing investor demand, the source added. 

The firm's fifth fund, which targets Japanese small and medium enterprises, has a high re-up rate and also expects to secure commitments from institutional investors based in Hong Kong and Singapore.

The Norinchukin Bank and Mitsubishi Corporation backed Ant Capital’s previous funds, PEI data indicated.

The firm’s latest vehicle is more than double the size of its previous vehicle, 2010-vintage Catalyzer No. 4 Private Equity Investment that closed on ¥13 billion ($117 million; €102 million) and from which it is currently investing, according to PEI data.

Among Fund No. 4’s investments are 140-year-old shoe manufacturer MoonStar Company and health snack company Sokan, as well as Shizuoka-based building material retailer Maruhon, B2B hotel reservation website Apple World and Tokyo-based rental guarantor company Casa.

Ant Capital, with $1.2 billion under management, is also in the process of deploying its two latest secondaries vehicles, Ant Bridge 4-A Private Equity Secondary Investment Fund and Ant Bridge 4-B Private Equity Secondary Investment Fund, raised a combined ¥27 billion.

Ant Capital declined to comment on the fundraising.