Samena doubles target for second fund

Samena Capital, co-founded by former Abraaj Capital managing director Shirish Saraf (pictured), has launched its second special situations fund with a target double that of its first vehicle in 2008.

Samena Capital, a buyout firm targeting investments in the subcontinent, Asia, Middle East and North Africa, is targeting $700 million for its second fund. Formally launched this week, the target is twice as much as the amount raised by its first fund in 2008, it said in a statement. The firm plans to hold an initial close on 30 June. About 90 percent of investors in Samena's management vehicle have committed to the new fund, a source said.

The firm has already secured commitments worth $350 million, Saraf told Private Equity International in an interview. The fund has a target of $700 million, according to its placement memorandum, although a source close to the fundraising indicated this could be exceeded depending on investor demand. It will have a target IRR of 25 percent, according to the prospectus.

Samena has recently realised some of its Samena Special Situations Fund I investments, including Indian commercial vehicle manufacturer Eicher Motors, which generated a 5.4x multiple in under two years. Other recent exits included the sale of oil and gas companies Renaissance Services and Rubicon Offshore, for 1.6x and 1.5x returns respectively, generating IRRs of 57 percent and 73 percent.

The firm said 20 percent of the SSSF I capital had already been repaid to investors, ahead of the anticipated timeframe.

SSSF II will follow a similar strategy to its predecessor, investing through a seven year close-ended private equity fund structure that allows it to “build strong minority stakes in listed companies”. It said it would build stakes through strategic block purchases, pre-negotiated deals and preferential issuance of equity.

It has an investment period of five years, will be domiciled in the Cayman Islands, and has a standard 2 percent management fee and 20 performance fee, subject to clawback and a 4 percent hurdle, according to the fund's prospectus.

The firm added: “The significantly larger scale of SSSF II together with the addition of some of Asia’s most prominent business personalities to the company’s existing strategic shareholder group, will lead to greater co-investment opportunities across a range of industries and geographies to better maximise value creation from the profile and reach of Samena’s shareholders.”

V-Nee Yeh, a founding shareholder and chairman of Samena Capital, added in the statement: “What differentiates Samena is the way it stands at the vanguard of economic integration across the region. We are at an inflection point in the way different regions trade and invest with each other and Samena Capital’s shareholders have unrivalled access to and understanding of the most entrepreneurial businesses which benefit from that trend. The second fund augments Samena Capital’s reach and re-opens the old Silk Route along which ideas and wealth were traded between Europe and the SAMENA countries in previous generations.”