Exclusive: Japan’s Unison targets $585m

The firm has launched its fourth fund as Abenomics stirs some optimism.

Tokyo-based Unison Capital Partners has launched its fourth Japan fund targeting ¥60 billion (€429 million; $585 million), according to a source with knowledge of the matter.

The firm, which invests in Japan and Korea, also has a Korea fund in market targeting $235 million (250 billion KRW).

This is the first time the firm has split their fundraising efforts into two vehicles based on geography, the source told Private Equity International

“[Japan and Korea] are slightly different in terms of investment opportunities and separating them into two vehicles is easier for investors to understand [the investment thesis].”

Unison’s previous fund was far larger, closing on $1.36 billion (¥140 billion) in 2009. It is now 90 percent committed. 

LPs in the previous fund include UK-based fund of funds FF&P Venture Funds, US-based Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company and the Starr Foundation, according to PEI’s Research & Analytics division.

The new fundraising effort comes as Japan is being rediscovered by investors, and the hope is that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s measures to spark capital spending will pull Japan out of decades of economic stagnation.

Tokyo-based Unison Capital Partners was founded in 1998. The firm focuses on buyouts in Japan and invests in Korea if it finds a Japan angle. It has 20 professionals in Tokyo and three in a Seoul office. Last year, the firm appointed four of its executives to partner level.