Baring closes $4bn Asia fund

The firm has raised almost $1bn more than its target and was ‘heavily oversubscribed’

Jean Eric Salata’s Baring Private Equity Asia has closed its sixth pan-Asian vehicle “heavily oversubscribed”, hitting its hard cap of $3.988 billion, according to a statement.

The fund, which made a $3.3 billion first close in October last year after just four months in the market, was understood to have an original target of around $3 billion. The fund is 60 percent larger than its predecessor vehicle, with the partners committing $138 million – making them one of the largest investors combined.

The amount is the largest ever raised for the region by an Asia-based private equity fund, according to the firm.

Firms such as The Carlyle Group, TPG Capital, CVC Capital Partners and Affinity Equity Partners have all raised funds of $3 billion or more in the last 18 months, but only Hong Kong-based RRJ Capital is set to compete with Baring’s $3.988 billion, rumoured to be launching a $4 billion fund imminently.

Baring has been actively investing over the past year, completing a number of landmark deals.

For example, the firm privatised US-listed Chinese gaming company Giant Interactive in a $3 billion transaction with Hony Capital, a deal that garnered widespread attention.

Baring also took part in a wave of cross-border deals last year, including investments in UK-based retailer Cath Kidston and Grenada’s St. George’s University.

Fund VI intends to continue targeting companies in Asia, as well as those in Europe and North America with growth plans in Asia, in a broad range of sectors.

“Although there was demand for a substantially larger fund, we capped capital commitments at a level we were comfortable we could invest well,” Salata, founding partner and chief executive, said.

“We are seeing many more situations involving large scale companies and more control deals than we used to, so we expect the average investment amount per company also to be larger. Today Baring Asia has a team of 110 across Asia, twice the size of our team at the close of our previous fund.”