KV Asia debut fund raises $250m

The private equity firm co-founded by ex-Citi and StanChart executive Karam Butalia is near a final close on its debut vehicle, which targets Southeast Asia.

Southeast Asia-focused private equity firm KV Asia Capital is finalising the documentation for a final close, having hit the $250 million target on its maiden fund, according to a source with knowledge of the matter. The fund is expected to close in the next two weeks. 

KV Asia declined to comment on the status of the fund or the general market environment while fundraising.

The Singapore-based firm made its first close on the vehicle in November 2012, having raised $100 million, Private Equity International reported earlier. It had earlier decreased its target from $500 million, as well as striking its mandate to invest in India, where the investment environment in difficult. 

The fund will now solely invest in mid-market control situations across Southeast Asia, with Indonesia being its core focus, PEI's source explained. 

Jakarta continues to attract
private equity firms from
across the globe

Indonesia’s macro-economic and political situation continues to improve, but the firm has struggled to find deals at reasonable valuations, the source said. Out of over 90 deals it has looked at, the firm is only seriously considering two. 

KV Asia was co-founded by former Standard Chartered executive Karam Butalia and ex-JPMorgan head of Southeast Asia private equity Vibhav Panandiker, who launched the firm in 2010.

Butalia was previously global private equity head at Standard Chartered and prior to that he worked at Citibank for about 25 years.

The KV Asia team joins the increasing number of GPs targeting investment opportunities in Southeast Asia. 

Global firms have also been strengthening their capabilities in the region, with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts opening its Singapore office in October 2012 and The Carlyle Group hiring Rajiv Louis in May as managing director and country head of Indonesia. Warburg Pincus is also planning to hire a Singapore-based investment team member, having closed its latest global fund on $11.2 billion in May, PEI reported earlier.