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Baring PE Asia closes seventh buyout fund at $6.5 bn
Photo Credit: VCCircle

Hong Kong-based alternative investment firm Baring Private Equity Asia, which was among the biggest PE investors in India by total deal value in 2019, has hit the final close of its seventh fund at its hard cap of $6.5 billion.

The Baring Private Equity Asia Fund VII exceeded its target by $1 billion and is 60% larger than its predecessor fund, the buyout firm said in a statement.

The new fund raised capital from both existing and new investors, including pension and sovereign wealth funds. The fund, like its predecessor, will focus on mid- and large-cap buyouts across the Asia-Pacific region. It will also invest in companies across the world that will benefit from an expansion into the region.

The investment vehicle will target sectors such as healthcare, education, information technology services and software, business and financial services, consumer and advanced manufacturing.

“During our history of investing in Asia over the last 23 years we have seen a transformation in the scale and quality of businesses in the region and Asian private equity now operates on a global scale,” Baring Asia CEO Jean Eric Salata said.

“We have conviction that the higher rates of growth in the region and maturing market opportunity will continue to offer superior returns to investors in the coming years,” Salata added.

Baring Asia had sealed three technology deals last year, acquiring NIIT Technologies, CitiusTech and AGS Health. Cumulatively, it may have spent around $2 billion to acquire the three companies. This propelled the PE firm into the top investors in India last year, alongside Singapore sovereign fund GIC, Canada’s Brookfield and Japan’s SoftBank.

Baring Asia has also focussed on exiting its previous investments in India. It struck a partial exit from software services firm Hexaware in 2018 and has been attempting to sell part of its stake in CMS Info Systems, which offers cash management services and ATM products and services.

In the past few years, Baring has also been building its India credit vertical. Last week, VCCircle exclusively reported that its India-focussed credit platform was preparing to hit the road to raise its third fund, with an aim to meet the growing demand for debt capital in the wake of a slowdown in traditional bank lending.

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