Partners Group launches emerging markets fund

The firm is in market with its third EM fund just 18 months after its predecessor closed.

Switzerland-based asset manager Partners Group has launched a new emerging markets-focused private equity fund, according to a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The filing declined to disclose the fund's size and says it has not yet collected any commitments from LPs, but its predecessor fund, which closed in December 2012, raised $1 billion alongside the firm’s Asia Pacific vehicle, according to an earlier statement from the firm.

A spokeswoman for Partners Group declined to comment on any fundraising activities.

The new emerging markets fund, Partners Group’s third of its kind, will accept a minimum $10 million commitment from outside LPs and comes as the firm is expanding its footprint in emerging markets.

In May, the firm revealed it has opened an office in Mumbai, India, to focus on direct private equity opportunities. The office will be led by managing director Cyrus Driver, who will be joined by two Singapore-based investment staff and likely hire another before year-end, Driver told Private Equity International earlier.

He added that the decision came at a time when Partners Group is expanding its coverage of emerging markets in general, India being its sixth office in Asia Pacific and seventh within emerging regions, the firm maintaining a presence in Brazil.

“The office opening has been planned for a while and [came as] Partners Group continues to go more and more local across emerging markets and India was in a sense unusual as a big economy where we were active, but not functioning from an office within the country,” Driver told PEI at the time.

While some LPs have stepped back from emerging markets due to lack of faith in the risk-return proposition, Partners Group has remained bullish on emerging market opportunities.

“Private companies are among the leaders and key players in several of the most attractive industries in emerging markets,” head of Asia at Partners Group, Andreas Baumann, said at an industry event in Australia in March.

“These are highly attractive sectors that often grow in the mid-teens [and at] twice the speed of the overall economy.”

Partners Group has also had recent success fundraising for its global vehicle, which has an up to 40 percent allocation to “Asia and the rest of world”, the majority of which will be deployed in Asia Pacific.

The firm closed its third direct fund on its hard cap of €1.5 billion in February, PEI reported earlier, having already closed two deals in Asia. China and India remain the key markets for Partners Group in Asia, while globally the fund focuses on a range of mid-market sectors. The vehicle is already one-third invested and has screened 1,600 companies, 10 of which have converted into deals, according to the firm.