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Baring Asia raises $1.5bn

Jean Eric Salata, the Asian firm’s chief executive, said investor demand had been particularly strong because of its low-leverage growth focus.

Baring Private Equity Asia, an Asian growth equity firm, has raised $1.515 billion (€980 million) surpassing its target of $1 billion for its fourth fund. The firm had to lift its undisclosed hard cap due to investor demand, according to a statement.

The firm also “turned away a substantial amount of investor demand”. Baring Private Equity Asia invests in companies with enterprise values of between $100 million to $500 million. It now has $2.5 billion in assets under management. The fund is triple the size of the firm's third fund raised in 2006.

It targets the alternative energy, media, financial services, consumer and industrial sectors with operations in China, India, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan or South East Asia.

Jean Eric Salata, founding partner and chief executive of Baring Asia, said in a statement: “At a time when highly leveraged US and European buyouts are starting to show signs of stress, private equity funds focused on growth investing in Asia, a strategy which largely does not use financial leverage, are continuing to attract interest from around the world.” He said the firm had limited the size of the fund so it could retain its focus on growth opportunities in mid-size companies.

The fund received “re-ups” of 154 percent from existing investors. It was also backed by 40 further institutional investors.

Existing investors who committed to Baring Asia’s fourth fund include Pennsylvania Public School Employees Retirement System, the US pension fund, Pantheon, the global fund of funds, and Global Investment House, the Kuwaiti investment firm.

New investors include Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, the Canadian pension fund, Partners Group, the Swiss fund of funds, University of Texas Endowment, the US university fund, and Universities Super Annuation Scheme of the UK, as well as Goldman Sachs Asset Management, an arm of the investment bank.