Baring PE Asia raises $11b for eighth flagship fund: report

Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA) has raised about $11 billion for its latest flagship fund and may announce the final close as soon as this month, per a Bloomberg report.

The reported amount far exceeds the firm’s target of $8.5 billion eighth fund. The predecessor vehicle was closed at $6.5 billion in January 2020.

BPEA has recently received commitments from US pension funds as well as the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. It secured a $100-million commitment from the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) of the State of Illinois.

Bloomberg reported that the eighth vehicle has already deployed 15% of its capital.

DealStreetAsia had earlier reported that BPEA Fund VIII will allocate up to 10% of its capital to growth-stage investments, alongside traditional buyouts, and will write cheques between $150 million and $500 million across 18 to 22 companies.

The Asian PE firm typically targets control buyouts of companies with enterprise values between $500 million and $2 billion across China, India, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia, and cross-border deals where Asia could play a significant role in future returns.

In May, BPEA invested in contact lens producer Ginko, making it the largest Taiwan take-private transaction in the consumer sector.

Last month, DealStreetAsia reported that Biocon Biologics Limited, a unit of India’s largest biopharmaceutical company Biocon, was in talks with the Hong Kong-based PE firm to sell a minority stake.

BPEA’s portfolio companies in India include Virtusa, Citius Tech, Coforge (formerly called NIIT Technologies), CMS, AGS Health and RBS Bank. In Southeast Asia, the firm has backed retail platform The CrownX and Vietnam-USA Society English Centres in Vietnam; business services provider TELUS International, education solutions provider Straive and game development company Virtuos in Singapore.

In March this year, Sweden-headquartered private equity firm EQT announced it will acquire BPEA in a 6.8 billion euros (now $6.7 billion) deal.

Once completed, the combined business in Asia will be rebranded as BPEA EQT Asia and will continue to be led by BPEA CEO Jean Eric Salata and its senior management team. Salata will become head of BPEA EQT Asia and oversee EQT’s private capital business in Asia.

At the time of the announcement, BPEA had 17.7 billion euro assets under management with over 100 private equity investments and a 2.6x gross multiple of invested capital since its inception.

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