Warburg Pincus in the market to raise $1.5b Asia real estate fund

Photo: Bloomberg

Global private equity firm Warburg Pincus is in the market to raise a $1.5-billion Asia real estate fund, according to its latest filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The fund, Warburg Pincus Asia Real Estate LP, looks to be the PE firm’s first vehicle with a dedicated focus on Asia’s burgeoning real estate market, based on the funds listed on its website.

The filing comes nearly two years after the firm raised $4.25 billion for Warburg Pincus China-Southeast Asia II LP, its first vehicle with a dedicated focus on China and Southeast Asia, a market it has been actively investing in for some time.

The latest SEC filing, signed by managing director and general counsel Harsha G. Marti, did not specify a timeframe for the fundraising but said the offering will not last more than one year.

Together with Warburg Pincus Asia Real Estate LP, the firm also filed to raise an undisclosed amount for Warburg Pincus Asia Real Estate Partners.

DealStreetAsia reached out to the firm but it declined to comment on the filing.

Warburg Pincus entered Asia in 1994 and has since invested over $17 billion in more than 170 companies in China, India, and Southeast Asia. Globally, the firm has invested more than $89 billion in 920 companies.

The firm established its first institutional fund in 1971 and over the last four decades has raised 19 private equity funds totaling $95 billion.

The PE firm focuses on five key sectors – energy, financial service, healthcare and consumer, industrial and business services, as well as technology, media and telecommunications.

For Southeast Asia, the firm started investing in the region in 2013, with Vietnam as its maiden market. Since then, it has invested in several companies including Vincom Retail, Lodgis Hospitality, ARA Asset Management, GOJEK, NWP Retail, OnlinePajak, and Trax.

The firm first raised $1.2 billion for a real estate fund – Warburg Pincus Real Estate I LP – in 2006. It raised $2.5 billion in November 2018 for its second energy-focused private equity fund, four years after raising $4 billion for such fund.

It also secured $2.3 billion for a financial services fund in December 2017 and then the first China-focused fund in December 2016 with $2 billion in commitments.

“Warburg Pincus takes a long-term perspective and invests in businesses at all stages of development, from founding start-ups and supporting growth in new and developing companies, to leading complex recapitalizations or large-scale buy-outs of more mature businesses,” the firm said on its website.

In February, the firm filed to raise up to $750 million for two blank-check firms that could merge with businesses with near-term potential to bring in strong free cash flow. The blank-check firms, Warburg Pincus Capital Corporation I—A and Warburg Pincus Capital Corporation I—B, said they are aiming to raise up to $250 million and $500 million, respectively.

Warburg Pincus has been one of the most active investors in Asia Pacific’s real estate space, with approximately $6 billion invested over 35 real estate ventures and platforms including some it co-founded alongside leading entrepreneurs such as in Singapore logistics real estate major ESR Cayman Ltd, Vincom Retail, PDG, and New Ease.

It has been actively investing in China, Southeast Asia, and India through subsidiaries and partners, including ARA Asset Management, where it owns 48.7 per cent. Last year, ESR entered into a strategic partnership with Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC to set up at $750-million joint venture that will develop and acquire industrial and logistics assets in India.

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.