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J-STAR nears first close of third fund – Exclusive

The Tokyo-based firm is targeting $300m for its latest buyout fund.

Japanese mid-market private equity firm J-STAR has collected about ¥15 billion ($150 million; €135 million) for its third buyout fund and is set to announce a first close by late November, a source with knowledge of the fundraising told Private Equity International.

J-STAR No. 3 Investment Limited is targeting ¥30 billion ($270 million; €250 million) slightly larger than its predecessor fund J-STAR No. 2 which raised ¥20.4 billion, against a ¥15 billion target.

The firm’s latest vehicle, launched in summer this year, will have the same mandate as J-STAR’s previous funds. It will invest in small to mid-sized Japanese companies with enterprise values between ¥1 billion to ¥2 billion.

J-STAR expects to announce a final closing in the first quarter of 2017, the source said.

The firm is currently investing its second fund, announcing back-to-back acquisitions early this year. It bought chemist chain Aisei Pharmacy, nursing care provider Platia, insurance agency Sokisha Corporation, and energy solutions provider ESCO all under four months.

The firm’s debut fund, 2006-vintage 12 billion yen J-STAR No. 1 is fully invested, according to PEI data.

Limited partners in the firm’s funds include AlpInvest Partners, Morgan Creek Capital Management, and Japanese commercial banks, insurance companies and pensions, PEI data indicated.

J-STAR declined to comment on the fundraise.