Exclusive: Navis closes Asia fund on $1.5bn

The pan-Asian private equity firm has already deployed 22% of its seventh vehicle

Kuala Lumpur-based Navis Capital Partners has closed its seventh private equity vehicle, having raised $1.5 billion from investors, sources familiar with the matter revealed to Private Equity International.  

The firm had raised $1.3 billion by February last year, having made an $860 million first close in December 2013, but kept the fund open for late-coming investors and some of its Sharia investors. It had originally targeted $1.25 billion.

The vehicle made a final close in December 2014 after a busy year for the firm.

In 2014, Navis invested about $650 million across eight investments, which included some bolt-on acquisitions, as well as investments from its small Malaysia-focused funds. The firm also exited around $400 million and raised the value of its portfolio by about $550 million.

Typically known for its success in Southeast Asia, Navis is actually invested across many Asian markets, including China and Australia.

Last year, the firm sold its investment in Chinese mining equipment business Trio, of which Navis bought its controlling stake in 2009 as its first China-based investment. Since, Navis has worked with the management team to expand its market presence, as well as driving new branding and marketing initiatives.

The business achieved a five-year compound annual growth rate of 20 percent, with EBITDA increasing about three times over Navis’ ownership period. The company paid dividends every year.

But Navis is particularly active on the investment front and has already deployed about 22 percent of its seventh fund and continues to own businesses in almost all Asian markets.

Navis was founded in 1998 by Nicholas Bloy and Rodney Muse, and has about $5 billion in assets under management. The firm invests solely in buyout transactions in Asia Pacific, but focuses on portfolio companies with a strong potential to expand into Southeast Asia.