Japan’s Polaris Capital Group-backed Altair Capital has made the first close a little below $100 million for its maiden ASEAN fund, a top executive with the firm told this portal.
Gary Ng, a partner at Altair Capital, said the firm was planning to raise $150 million in total by June next year.
The fund’s first close limited partners are largely from Japan and Singapore but he said Altair is also targeting LPs from other regions.
Singapore-headquartered Altair Capital said it is targeting ticket sizes of $10-25 million, covering sectors such as consumer, education, healthcare, manufacturing and services. The sectors are directly influenced by Altair’s connection to Japan’s Polaris Capital Group as its ASEAN affiliate.
“By working in the same sectors as Polaris, we hope to tap the potential synergies that may arise through these connections,” said Ng. “We see a lot of interest among Japanese strategic corporates in buying into ASEAN businesses.”
According to Ng, the ability to present a Japanese exit route gives Altair a key competitive advantage. He also believes they have an edge when it comes to mid-market buyouts since there are few similar-sized players in the market today.
“Many of the other buyout firms out there today are much larger, around $400-500 million,” said Ng. “They used to be $200 million, focusing on $20-million equity cheques, but because they’ve raised much larger funds, they’ve moved on to bigger ticket sizes. So in terms of small buyouts, we don’t have many competitors in the market.”
In terms of growth capital, Altair Capital competes with the likes of Falcon Capital, UOB, and Mekong Capital in the region. These funds, however, tend to focus on a single market.
“Unlike a single country fund, we are not pressured to invest all our capital in one market. This means we can look at valuations across the region and pick deals that have a better risk/reward ratio. We think this gives us an advantage of making better deals,” said Ng.
Altair Capital currently has teams in Singapore and Indonesia, with plans to add staff in Vietnam and Malaysia.