KKR raises $15 billion in Asia’s biggest fund as buyout-backed deals rise

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Private equity powerhouse KKR & Co said on Tuesday it has raised $15 billion for its fourth Asia-Pacific focused fund, marking the region’s biggest private equity fund at a time when buyout-backed deals are on the rise.

U.S.-based KKR started marketing the new Asia fund towards the end of 2019, initially targeting $12.5 billion, sources familiar with the situation have said previously.”Companies across Asia Pacific are recognising their potential to become not only national and regional champions but also global leaders in their industries,” Ashish Shastry, KKR’s co-head of Asia Pacific private equity, said in a statement announced the fund-raising.

KKR said the fund exceeded its target size to reach its hard cap for fund investors’ commitments and received strong support from new and existing global investors, including significant representation from Asia Pacific-based investors.

Coronavirus-spurred growth in the technology sector is expected to drive M&A activity in Asia this year. Private equity-backed deals in the region rose 51% to a record $129 billion last year.

Many regional funds including China’s Primavera Capital and Boyu Capital are also raising funds, while Hillhouse Capital is targeting raising $13 billion, sources have said.

KKR said its fund would tap into opportunities stemming from rising consumer spending and urbanisation trends, as well as corporate carve-outs, spin-offs and consolidation.

KKR will invest about $1.3 billion in capital alongside fund investors through the firm and its employees’ commitments.

In January, it said it had closed its first fund targeting real estate investments in Asia Pacific, days after it closed its inaugural Asia infrastructure fund.

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