HarbourVest, Axiom back Credit Suisse spin-out(2)

Funds of funds HarbourVest Partners and Axiom Asia are the main investors in Credit Suisse spin-out Asia Growth Capital Advisors.

Asia Growth Capital Advisors has spun out of Credit Suisse after completing its long-rumoured acquisition of the bank's Asian private equity assets, according to an Asia Growth statement.

HarbourVest Partners was the primary investor in the secondary acquisition and Axiom Asia was a minority co-investor, according to the statement. All the parties involved in the deal declined to comment on specific details.

But according to sources with direct knowledge of the matter, HarbourVest has acquired five portfolio companies from Credit Suisse – four in India, one in Singapore – for a total close to $100 million. HarbourVest will not directly own any of Asia Growth’s portfolio, but will instead operate as an LP in Asia Growth’s fund, albeit with a majority stake.

Asia Growth had technically spun out from Credit Suisse in 2010, but all of its assets were still owned by the bank, explained Private Equity International's source. The fund life of the bank’s investments was coming to an end, but the new acquisition will now allow Asia Growth to extend the exit period of its current portfolio by five years. 

As a secondary acquisition, this is a “clean deal” for Asia Growth, with Credit Suisse achieving an exit of the portfolio and new investors providing capital, Asia Growth’s founders, Harjit Bhatia and Soma Ghosal Dhar, told PEI

Asia Growth  was most attracted to the mix of HarbourVest as a global fund of funds and Axiom Asia as one that is home-grown in Asia, the founders said. Both firms will hold seats on Asia's Growth's advisory board.

Credit Suisse’s original private equity team of four will continue to manage the portfolio as a separate fund manager, but out of HarbourVest’s dedicated secondaries fund Dover Street VII, they added.

Asia Growth is the final investment from Dover Street VII, which is a $2.9 billion global fund, according to Tim Flower, principal at HarbourVest.