NPS, Korea Development Bank back $270m Lindeman fund

The Seoul-based mid-market private equity firm’s latest vehicle has received close to KRW 300bn of commitments after six months of fundraising.

South Korea’s National Pension Service (NPS) and Korea Development Bank (KDB) are committing KRW 100 billion ($86 million; €77 million) each to Seoul-based private equity firm Lindeman Asia Investment’s latest China-focused vehicle, according to announcements from NPS and KDB.

Lindeman Asia Global Pioneer Fund No 11, which launched in March this year, held a final close earlier this month on $270 million, according to chief executive officer Jason Kim.

Along with NPS and KDB, the fund has also received commitments from the Korea Teachers’ Credit Union and a Chinese investor.

Similar to the rest of its previous vehicles, the firm will target cross-border investments that integrate Korean technology with Chinese consumption trends. A particular focus will be on advanced manufacturing companies, Kim told Private Equity International. The firm will invest in about 10 companies, with a deal size of between $10-30 million. Last week, the firm completed its first investment from the fund, acquiring a 10 percent stake in Chinese e-commerce platform Cogobuy in a deal reportedly worth $260 million. China’s Social Security Fund and Beijing-based China Reinsurance Corporation are said to have co-invested alongside the firm.

Lindeman, which started investing in Chinese venture firms in 2000 before moving into private equity, prefers low risk investments that produce stable growth. Kim said its earlier vehicles generated an average internal rate of return of 9 percent.

Among its investments are Seoul-headquartered marine transport company Intergis, Dalian-based fish company China Tuna (Dalian Ocean Fishing), Shenzhen-based tech company 3NOD Digital, and bio and healthcare company Green Cross Hong Kong.

The pension fund’s investment in Lindeman is in line with its announcement on 30 June that it will select four domestic private equity firms to manage KRW 700 billion of its funds. VIG Partners and Skylake Investment will each receive KRW 250 billion to invest in large-cap companies, while Lindeman Asia Investments and SG Private Equity will get KRW 100 billion each to invest in mid-sized companies.