ASIA NEWS: Apollo mission

Having just set up his own platform, Asia investment veteran Grant Kelley, has opted instead to back a bigger horse. PERE Magazine, March 2010 issue.

Holdfast Capital was just months out of a non-compete agreement with founder Grant Kelley’s previous firm, Colony Capital, when the property veteran agreed to merge his infant business with New York-based private equity investment firm Apollo Global Management.

Just hours after appearing on stage at last month’s third annual PERE Forum: Asia conference in Hong Kong as a representative of Holdfast, the Financial Times revealed Kelley and his seven-strong team would be leading Apollo’s effort in raising its first opportunity real estate fund in Asia.

However, according to PERE sources, Kelley had been prohibited from raising his first real estate fund until a non-compete agreement had expired with Colony. Delegates at the conference expressed interest in the timing of the merger, just months after this agreement elapsed.

Apollo Global Real Estate Management, Asia Pacific is understood to be adopting a similar strategy to what Holdfast’s would have been. The Hong Kong-based platform will initially target Australia, Japan and South Korea although China and India and other Asia emerging economies will also be visited at a later stage. The firm will scout for investment opportunities born from distressed situations in the non-performing loan space in particular. It will also target entity level investments as well as more vanilla distressed asset sales.

According to the FT report, Apollo’s maiden fund will seek $1 billion in equity commitments and to make individual investments of between $100 million and $500 million.