Bain gears up for Asia fundraise

 The firm will target around $2.5bn for its third pan-regional vehicle

Global private equity player Bain Capital is coming back to market with its third Asia-dedicated fund in the coming months, sources close to the matter told Private Equity International.

The firm has not settled on a specific target and launch date, but market sources say the fund will likely be around $2.5 billion, with some media reports saying the number could reach as much as $3 billion.

Bain declined to comment on fundraising, but managing director Jonathan Zhu told PEI in an interview last month the firm likes to be conservative with its fund sizes when raising money to avoid pressure to deploy capital.

The firm is currently investing its $2.3 billion Asia fund, which was raised in 2012 and is over 50 percent deployed, according to the firm.

Its new vehicle will have a similar strategy to its predecessor funds, but with an increased focus on buyout opportunities in China, one of the firm’s main geographies in the region.

Bain has been investing in Asia since 2006, making its first investment in Japan’s MEI Conlux. The firm has since spread across the region, deploying capital in China, Australia and India, hoping to expand into Southeast Asia with the latest vehicle.

Despite raising just $3.3 billion since 2006 for Asia-dedicated funds, Bain has in fact invested $5.6 billion in the region, with its global vehicles collaborating with Asia operations to do Asia-based deals. It has also realised a total of $4.1 billion in the region since entry.

Bain Capital is a global private equity firm with about $80 billion in assets under management. The firm was founded by former US presidential candidate Mitt Romney and other ex-Bain & Company consultants. In Asia, the firm has historically maintained a strong focus on Japan and Greater China, its previous investments including Skylark, Domino’s Pizza Japan, Uniview Technologies and Lionbridge Capital.