Baring Asia completes first deal in Japan

Baring Asia has completed its first buyout in Japan, a market it has been targeting since it closed a $490 million fund last year. The firm’s successes elsewhere in the region are beginning to attract the attention of investors.

Baring Private Equity Asia, a Hong-Kong based group whose focus spans China, India and since last year Japan, has completed the buyout of Barclay Vouchers, a luncheon voucher and meal coupons provider that serves 6,000 offices and clients in Japan.

The acquisition of Barclay Vouchers for an undisclosed amount represents the first buyout completed by Baring Asia in Japan. Prior to closing its $490 million (€359 million) fund last year, the firm had focused on investments in Greater China and India.

Founded in 1987 as a joint venture between Si Frederick Barclay and the Tazaki Group, Barclay voucher end-users have access to over 36,000 restaurants and conveniences stores across Japan.
Tadashi Maruoka, managing director of Baring Asia in Tokyo said: “We were attracted to Barclay Vouchers due to its dominant market position, strong cash flows and compelling value proposition for its customers.”

To date, the private equity firm has made seven investments totaling $217 million from the 2006 vintage fund, according to a statement.

Baring Asia is understood to be raising a new fund which has a $1 billion target. A couple of investors who did not invest in the 2006 fund say Baring Asia’s investment successes in the last year are encouraging them to look closely at the new fund.