Southeast Asia-focused private equity firm Navis Capital Partners is understood to be seeking around $350 million for its maiden credit fund. It had recruited BlackRock Asia credit business executive Justin Ferrier to lead its Asian credit platform, which was launched in July.
The development was first reported by Reuters. DealStreetAsia has independently verified the news.
The credit fund is expected to hold its first close in Q1 2023.
Navis did not comment on the fundraising.
Navis’ private credit business will focus on Southeast Asia, which is anticipated to make up about 75% of the platform’s investments, Ferrier told DealStreetAsia earlier. It will also look at several more developed markets in the Asia-Pacific, where Navis has a strong presence, including Hong Kong and Australia.
The Kuala Lumpur-headquartered firm aims to tap its private equity track record to source credit opportunities and add value to the portfolio. It sees plenty of opportunities in providing non-dilutive growth capital for businesses in the region since many deals do not fit its flagship capital solution of controlling private equity, according to Ferrier.
He believes the growth of private credit in Southeast Asia will be a one-way track, with growing economies and medium-sized enterprises that are still underserved by the banks, as well as an improving insolvency regime.
In terms of returns, Ferrier opined that Southeast Asia could demonstrate better terms than the US or Europe, thanks to less competition in the region.
Prior to launching Navis Asia Credit, Navis closed its eighth flagship fund at $900 million and the $450-million continuation fund, Navis Asia Green Loop Fund, last year.
The eighth PE fund has been about 55% deployed, the firm’s co-founder and managing partner, Nicholas Bloy, told DealStreetAsia in September.
It has recently invested in Dan-D Foods, a Canada-headquartered healthy nut producer with core sourcing and processing facilities in Vietnam; family office management solutions firm Eton; and Thailand-based S-Spine and Nerve Hospital and Ambassador Education.
Since the start of 2022, Navis has also announced divestments at Singapore-based electronic waste-processing firm TES, Hong Kong footwear component company Texon, medical cold-chain solutions provider B Medical Systems, and label and precision die-cut parts provider Adampak.