Special situations-focused alternative investment manager Ares SSG, formerly known as SSG Capital, is understood to be raising $1.5 billion for its latest secured lending fund.
The fund, SSG Secured Lending Opportunities III, has already secured capital commitments worth half its target corpus, a source familiar with the fundraising told DealStreetAsia. Launched in April, the vehicle will focus on lending to firms in the Asia-Pacific region. It is now set for a final close in 2021.
The investment firm’s filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission had not specified a target for this fund.
Limited partners in the latest vehicle include the Virginia Retirement System. The pension fund had earlier committed $300 million to the Ares SSG fund. The $76.9 billion pension fund disclosed its allocation to the Asian credit and special situations-focused investment firm in materials for its June 2 investment advisory committee meeting.
DealStreetAsia also reported earlier this month that San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System had approved a $75 million capital commitment to the fund.
Ares SSG declined to comment for this article.
Established in 2009, Ares SSG was founded by former Lehman Brothers Asia Special Situations Group executives Edwin Wong, Shyam Maheshwari, and Andreas Vourloumis. As of March 31, it had approximately $6.1 billion in assets under management and more than 120 direct institutional investors. It makes credit, private equity and special situations investments on behalf of its institutional clients.
In January this year, US-based private equity firm Ares Management announced it was acquiring a controlling interest in the Hong Kong-headquartered firm as a springboard for its Asia expansion. The acquisition was completed in July.
The firm, which began operating under the Ares SSG brand from July 2020, has two families of funds: SSG Capital Partners and Secured Lending Opportunities.
SSG closed its first lending fund at $325 million in 2015 and its successor Fund II at $815 million in 2017.
Last year, it closed its fifth flagship fund SSG Capital Partners V at $1.9 billion and raised an additional $825 million for a sidecar fund. Limited partners included US pension funds California State Teachers’ Retirement System and Virginia Retirement System. Like its predecessor funds, SSG Capital Partners V invests principally in special situations and distressed investments in the Asia Pacific, with a focus on China, India and Southeast Asia.