Equis to close debut fund on $650m

The Southeast Asian infrastructure fund has blown through its target, attracting institutional investors worldwide.

Singapore-based fund manager Equis Funds Group will make an official final close on its first fund before year end, according to a source close to the matter. He said the firm reached $647 million – a significant step above the fund’s initial $500 million target.

The fund is said to have attracted an impressive slew of institutional investors that include European LPs DEG and FMO, with London-headquartered MVision acting as the placement agent. Sister-publication Infrastructure Investor reported earlier that market sources predicted that by the end of the year, the fund could reach its hard-cap of $750 million.

The pan-Asia fund is focused on energy and infrastructure in Asia and spun out of the Macquarie Group in early 2011. The firm is led by chief executive David Russell, the former head of Asian private equity and Greater China at Macquarie Group.

Equis has already put some money to work from the fund, acquiring a 100 percent interest in a portfolio of solar energy assets in Thailand believed to be worth around $200 million. The firm is understood to be conducting due diligence on other solar energy portfolios and is targeting markets including Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines where investments are available in both grid and off-grid projects, Infrastructure Investor reported earlier.

Equis Funds Group was set up by former executives from the Asian Development Bank and Australia's Macquarie Group. The firm is tapping investment opportunities in energy and infrastructure sectors in India, China and Southeast Asia. Equis is based in Singapore, with its regional offices located in Bangalore, Hong Kong and Beijing.