Kuala Lumpur-headquartered private equity firm Navis Capital Partners is about to hit the first close of its eighth vehicle, Navis VIII, which is seeking to raise about $1.75 billion, according to an industry executive familiar with the matter.
DEALSTREETASIA had earlier reported that the latest fund has a hard cap of $1.9 billion. Navis expects to announce a final close for the fund by the end of this year.
The executive, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Navis’ latest fund recently held a ‘dry close’ at $500 million and will have its wet close at $1 billion in April.
When contacted, Navis declined to comment on its fundraising plans.
Navis’ seventh fund, the 2013-vintage Navis VII, was closed at $1.5 billion. It is believed to be almost fully drawn.
The new fund will cut check sizes between $50 million and $150 million, which is its sweet spot, and is also likely to make smaller investments — in the $25-50 million range — to bridge a funding gap it sees as largely unaddressed by other investors in the region.
Last November, Navis exited its controlling stake in regional cosmetics business Alliance Cosmetic Group to Japan-based Mandom Corporation after holding on to that investment for almost a decade. Although no financials were disclosed, Navis co-founder and managing partner Nicholas Bloy had said that the exit environment was not challenging.
The firm picked a majority interest of 80 per cent in Alliance in December 2009 together with Malaysian government-linked private equity firm Ekuiti Nasional Bhd (Ekuinas) through a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for RM160 million ($38 million).
In November 2018, Navis also acquired Australian medical device company Device Technologies for over $508.7 million. It was the PE firm’s largest deal to date.
Founded in 1998 by Richard Foyston, Bloy and Rodney Muse, Navis focuses on buyouts, recapitalisations and financial restructuring across Asia, especially in Southeast Asia, Australia and Hong Kong. It currently manages about $5 billion in public and private equity capital and has made about 80 controlling investments in the region.
Interestingly, although having invested in the region for two decades, Navis has never had an IPO exit. In a fireside chat at Asia PE-VC Summit 2018 organised by DEALSTREETASIA in Singapore last September, Bloy had said that the PE firm may start looking into public listing as a potential divestment strategy in the future.
Going forward, Bloy said Navis will employ a dual track process, in which both IPO and trade transactions will be treated as possible exit paths. By grooming a company for IPO, Navis expects to receive better value for the company, even if it ends up being acquired by a trade buyer.