Axiom Asia raises $1b for fourth fund-of-funds, beats $750m target

(Photo: RENDY ARYANTO/Visual Verve Studios)

Singapore-based private equity (PE) firm Axiom Asia Private Capital (Axiom Asia) has completed the final close of its oversubscribed fourth fund – Axiom Asia IV, L.P. Fund IV – securing over $1 billion in total commitments for this vehicle from a select group of institutional limited partners (LPs), exceeding its target of $750 million.

The firm had began raising this fund in 2015 and it got strong support from its existing investors, the company said in a statement.

Fund IV will continue Axiom’s strategy of “offering investors access to a portfolio of top-tier, Asian-focused private equity funds that can provide attractive risk-adjusted returns” and will target investments in buyout, venture capital, growth capital and other private equity (PE) funds”, it added.

Axiom, which makes secondaries purchases through its funds of funds, in addition to co-investments and direct investments, as well as its main activity of investing in private equity funds across buyout, growth capital and venture capital, with a focus on markets such as Japan, Korea, China, south-east Asia, Australasia and the Indian subcontinent, currently manages four private equity fund-of-funds with total commitments of over US$ 3.5 billion.

It maintains offices in Singapore and Hong Kong and is led by Managing Partners Edmond Ng, Chris Loh, Alex Lee and Marc Lau.

In addition, the funds that have been raised has seen the general partner (GP) increase its commitment in every successive Axiom Fund and raised it by 1.5x in Fund IV. Limited partners in the latest fund include  Montana Board of Investments, the Michigan Department of Treasury, and Caledonia Investments, among others.

DEALSTREETASIA had earlier reported that Axiom’s first fund was closed in 2006 at $440 million, while its second fund closed in 2010 at $950 million, and the third fund in 2012 at $1.15 billion. The firm had taken only four months to raise its previous fund of funds, Axiom Asia Private Capital Fund III, which beat its $950 million target to close on $1.15 billion in March 2012. In the past, Axiom has made commitments to to Hong Kong-based secondaries including NewQuest Capital Partners, China Everbright Investment Management and CDH Investments, among others.

On the close of Fund IV, Ng said, “We had a strong re-up rate and are very grateful for the support from our existing and new investors. The amount raised is a testament to the strong track record of Asian fund managers who have proven their ability to innovate and create profitable investment opportunities. It also highlights the appeal of our differentiated investment strategy that can generate returns even in times of market volatility.”

The firm maintained that it seeks to invest with fund managers who can “bring unique and advantaged capabilities to capitalize on opportunities in their local markets” and believes that the Asian PE space represents among the most promising asset classes due to the growth story and economic dynamism of the region.

Managing partner Alex Lee said: “Asia continues to possess the largest concentration of rising middle class consumers which provide a unique growth driver for companies.”

This growth in the middle class of Asia is driving intra-regional trade within the Indo-Asia Pacific and reducing its dependence on international trade with developed Western economies. Despite what is likely to remain perplexing operating terrain characterised by uncertainty, according to information compiled by Bain & Co, the 2015/2016 period saw strong results for the PE space, despite the shifting in international trade policies, the slump in commodities and the volatility of China’s economy.

In a media release, Mike Hoffmann of Probitas Partners, who has worked with Axiom Asia since 2006, said: “Limited Partners value experienced teams, with specialised skill sets, who can be true extensions of their investment teams. Axiom has proven to be a good partner in Asia for its investors over the last 10 years and helped its investors navigate an increasingly uncertain investment world while delivering a significant return pickup over comparable public and private benchmarks.”

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