Bain Capital is seeking to raise its first private equity fund focused solely on investing in Japan, the latest alternative asset manager to expand its push into the country.
The Boston-based firm has held early discussions with investors about the fund, which will focus on mid-sized Japanese companies, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Bain hasn’t set a fundraising target for the venture, said the people, who asked not to be named because the information is private.
Private equity firms are ramping up their investments in Japan, helped by negative interest rates and a push by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to improve corporate governance. Carlyle Group LP started reaching out to investors this year for a fourth buyout fund focused on the country. KKR & Co.’s co-presidents have called Japan a top priority because it offers cheaper valuations than other countries.
Alex Stanton, an external spokesman for Bain, declined to comment.
Yuji Sugimoto, who co-heads Bain’s Asia private equity business, said last year that Japanese companies will need to look to deep-pocketed investors to turn around failing business units.
Bain has invested in Japan through its pan-Asia buyout funds. It completed some big deals in the country last year, including the purchase of Japan’s third-largest advertising company, Asatsu-DK Inc. It also led an investor group to buy Toshiba Corp.’s memory-chip business.
Bain has done middle-market deals in the country as well, including acquiring wind farm developer Japan Wind Development Co. Ltd and Yukiguni Maitake Co. Ltd., a mushroom producer.