Baring Private Equity raises $11.2 billion in one of Asia’s largest buyout funds

HONG KONG : Hong Kong-based Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA) has closed its eighth pan-Asia fund at $11.2 billion, its largest, the firm said on Tuesday.

The final close, which exceeded BPEA’s $8.5 billion initial target and is 70 percent more than its previous fund, also made it one of the largest private equity funds ever raised in Asia.

The fundraising closed amid global macroeconomic and geopolitical uncertainties that have made it a challenging time for investment managers.

As of Sept. 2, a total of $82 billion was raised by Asia-focused private equity funds, compared with 2021’s full-year amount of $226 billion, according to data provider Preqin.

Founded by Chilean dealmaker Jean Salata in 1997, BPEA has made over 100 investments and achieved $18 billion in realized capital over the years, according to its website.

The firm agreed in March to merge with Sweden-based peer EQT AB in a cash and shares deal worth 6.8 billion euros. Salata will continue to lead the Asia business after the merger is completed.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter, BPEA said in Tuesday’s statement.

BPEA closed its last pan-Asia fund, BPEA Fund VII, in January 2020 at $6.5 billion. That fund had achieved a 38 percent internal rate of return as of June, the firm said on Tuesday.

The latest fund attracted over 180 investors, including over 70 new investors, said a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

Existing investors committed approximately 1.3 times the commitments to the new fund compared to the previous fund, the person added.

BPEA declined to comment.

The fund will continue to focus on buyout deals across BPEA’s core sectors – healthcare, technology services, business services, education, financial services, consumer and advanced manufacturing – BPEA said.

The fund’s investors include Canada’s CPP Investments and the Employees Retirement System of Texas, according to public disclosures.

BPEA’s private equity portfolio includes Hong Kong-headquartered business expansion specialist Tricor Group, Israeli medical and aesthetic laser company Lumenis and Chinese health and pharma products online marketplace JD Health, its website shows.

In March, it closed the take-private of Ginko International, China’s leading contact lenses producer headquartered in Taiwan, in a deal that gave Ginko an enterprise value (EV) of $1 billion.

It sold global cosmetic packaging firm HCP to Carlyle Group in May for an undisclosed amount, and Singapore-based connector and high precision products maker Interplex to Blackstone in March for an EV of $1.6 billion.

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