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


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

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

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A total of $97 billion was raised by Asia-focused private equity funds so far this year, compared with 2021’s full-year amount of $226 billion, according to data provider Preqin.

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BPEA’s latest fund exceeded Blackstone’s $11 billion Asia fund raised in January, the data showed.

Jean Salata, the firm’s chief executive and founding partner, said the firm had 27 exits in investments in the last 12 months, which generated a total of $9 billion, with overall return multiples of just under three times.

“That really helped fundraising. Locking in returns instead of paper returns really made a difference,” he said.

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

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

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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 with 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 availability of scale business where you can take a controlling stake and really make a difference in the way those businesses are run is the key change that’s been taking place in the last five to 10 years (in Asia), and that’s going to accelerate,” said Salata.

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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 esthetic 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. (Reporting by Kane Wu; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Louise Heavens)

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