Baring Private Equity Asia has raised $2.46 billion for its fifth fund, making it the largest private equity fund launched in Asia since the global financial meltdown in 2008. The Baring Asia Private Equity Fund V, L.P. was raised in less than five months, taking its total funds under management to $5 billion and making it one of the largest Asian PE firms. The PE firm has made over half-a-dozen investments in
India and has its office in Mumbai.
Baring Asia operates separately from Baring Private Equity Partners India, a country dedicated fund with assets under management of approximately $1 billion. Baring Asia will target companies in Greater
China, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea or South East Asia.
Baring Asia, which was initially targeting $1.75 billion, closed at its hard cap and was heavily oversubscribed by more than $1 billion in excess commitments. The Fund is 60% larger than BPEA’s Fund IV, which was closed in February 2008 at $1.52 billion.
The successful fundraise comes as limited partners seek to increase their exposure to tap the growth of emerging markets in Asia. This is indicated in Baring Asia’s limited partners base, where of the 70 investors in the new fund, 30 are new institutional investors. Around 47% of the investor commitments came from North America, 28% from Asia, and 25% from the Middle East and Europe.
Several other Asia-focused funds with track records, like SAIF Partners and Navis Capital Partners, have also managed to close new vehicles in the last six months. While SAIF raised $1.25 billion fourth fund, Navis closed its sixth fund at $1.2 billion in September 2010.
Baring Asia’s investments in India include KS Oils, Rithwik Projects, RSP Design Consultants India, Coastal Projects, Karvy Stock Broking, among others.
“We sensed from LPs around the world that, although Asia is at the top of many people’s lists for new private equity commitments, post financial crisis they are more focused than before on investing with
firms that are established and that have been tested in difficult markets. This is our fifth fund, and Asia is no longer considered a new market, so to this extent, our prior track record and our institutionalized platform was an important factor in the success of the fundraise,” said Jean Eric Salata, Hong Kong based Founding Partner and CEO of Baring Asia.
Baring has an active portfolio of 30 companies with combined 2010 revenues of $6.7 billion and net earnings of $740 million. It was earlier part of Dutch Insurer ING but became independent through a
management led buyout in 2000.