Malaysian PE firm Creador makes first close of fifth fund at $500m

Creador founder and CEO Brahmal Vasudevan

Malaysian private equity firm Creador has made the first close of its fifth fund at $500 million and is looking to announce three new deals in August, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Although details of the transactions could not be ascertained, Creador CEO Brahmal Vasudevan had earlier told DealStreetAsia in an interview that it is looking to invest in a quick-service restaurant player in India and a Malaysian firm.

The fundraise marks the firm’s largest first close to date, bringing its assets under management to about $2 billion. The source said the fund is on track to make its final close by the end of this year with a corpus of $680 million.

When contacted, Creador declined to comment on the story.

The PE firm launched the fifth fund in March. It has raised almost all the capital from its existing investors, the source said, without naming any LPs.

Creador’s previous investors include Asian Development Bank, Hamilton Lane, Siguler Guff, and Quilvest.

Its fourth fund, which had a size of $580 million, was launched in 2019. Its first three funds were closed at $130 million, $331 million, and $419 million, respectively.

The broad strategy for the fifth fund will be similar to its predecessors, focusing on Southeast Asia and India. Within Southeast Asia, the firm will be looking at opportunities in Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand.

The fund is planning to invest in 15 deals. It will start deploying capital starting September this year and its cheque sizes will range from $30 million to $50 million.

In a previous interview with DealStreetAsia, Vasudevan had said that Creador is targeting a 25% return per annum for the fifth fund.

Creador recently made headlines for divesting 50% of its stake in credit reporting agency CTOS Digital Bhd as the company made its debut on Bursa Malaysia.

Last week, CTOS Digital announced that it had garnered the largest retail demand since 2013, with the public tranche oversubscribed by 27.6 times at a value of 1.38 billion ringgit ($328 million). The credit reporting agency said it received a total of 51, 494 applications for 1.26 billion shares, out of the 44 million shares made available for the Malaysian public.

CTOS Digital had originally planned for a 1.2 billion ringgit ($285 million) IPO.

Last month, Creador picked up a 30% stake in Malaysia’s Loob Holding, which owns the Tealive bubble tea brand. The deal was reported to be 260 million ringgit ($62.5 million) that pegged the valuation of Loob at over 800 million ringgit ($192 million).

Fundraising activity has gathered steam in the region over the past few weeks. Most recently, Indies Capital Partners announced the first close of its second fund after securing commitments of more than 70% of the target $80 million size. Prior to that, Velocity Ventures hit the first close of its $20-million Southeast Asia-focused hospitality and travel fund, while  Alpha JWC raised $300 million its new VC fund.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.