Partners launches tie-up with Sumitomo in Japan

The Swiss-based alternative asset manager revealed plans to launch a joint venture with a Japanese asset manager, as it reported another strong set of results for its listed opportunities fund.

Swiss-based alternative asset manager Partners Group has entered into a partnership with Japanese fund manager Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management, in the latest example of growing Japanese institutional interest in private equity.

Sumitomo, which advises Japanese pension plans on investment strategy, sought the partnership after a survey of its clients revealed a burgeoning interest in private equity.

In a statement, Partners Group said that the Japanese firm had been attracted by the potential diversification it provided across secondary and direct investments, as well as the listed partnerships it offered. The Swiss group said this approach addresses traditional private equity hurdles such as the J-curve effect, liquidity and access to leading managers.

However, the statement did not reveal any details on exactly how the two companies plan to co-operate.

Separately, Partners revealed that the net asset value of its listed vehicle Partners Group Global Opportunities increased by 4.4 percent during the second quarter, to over €400 million ($551 million). It has now made €89 million of direct investments, accounting for 61 percent of NAV, while fund investments make up 18 percent, opportunistic investments 17 percent, and cash and other assets 4 percent. The entire fund is now 96.5 percent invested. 

The fund also has €128 million of mezzanine debt invested in 15 companies.  It has received early repayments from three deals, including the Permira and CVC Capital Partners-owned UK motoring business Automobile Association, following a recapitalisation in April.

Urs Wietlisbach, executive vice chairman of Partners Group, said all borrowers, except The Carlyle Group’s Stahl, were currently at or even above the business case.