Japanese Private Equity Fund Managers Fundraising, 2006 to June 2012

by Aveline Tan

  • 15 Jun 2012
  • PE

From 2006 to present, 44 Japan-based private equity fund managers successfully held a final close, with 86 funds (excluding funds of funds and secondaries vehicles) raising an aggregate $12.8bn from investors. The majority of the funds closed by Japan-based private equity fund managers in this period were venture capital vehicles (53%).

The largest venture capital fund, SBI BB Mobile Investment, is managed by SBI Group and closed at JPY 32bn (approximately $279mn) in 2006. SBI Group as a whole participates in venture and buyout opportunities globally and invests in a wide range of sectors, including clean technology, biotechnology, broadband and media. From 2006 to present, SBI Group closed a total of eight private equity funds, most of which were venture funds.

The top Japan-based fund manager by total capital raised from 2006 to present is JAFCO (Japan), which raised $2.1bn via eight private equity funds over the period. These funds include the JPY 148.5bn (approximately $1.3bn) JAFCO SV3 Series and the $200mn JAFCO Asia Technology Fund IV. JAFCO (Japan) participates in both venture capital and buyout opportunities in Japanese companies operating across a wide range of industries; however, in overseas markets such as the US and China, it primarily focuses on making technology-related venture capital investments.

While buyout funds only accounted for 20% of the total number of funds closed by Japan-based fund managers from 2006 to present, such funds raised the largest proportion of capital (46%) within the period. Advantage Partners Fund IV, which held a final close at JPY 216bn (approximately $1.8bn) in 2007, is the largest private equity fund closed by a Japan-based fund manager since 2006. Advantage Partners participates in buyout opportunities, including management buy-ins, privatization and restructuring investments, providing capital to companies operating in a wide range of industries in Japan and other parts of Asia. Prior to 2006, the firm managed a series of Japan-focused buyout funds, Advantage Partners MBI Funds I, II and III, which collectively raised JPY 67.5bn (approximately $0.6bn) from investors.

Unison Capital raised the next largest buyout fund by a Japan-based manager from 2006 to present, with Unison Capital Partners III holding final close at JPY 140bn (approximately $1.5bn), in 2009. The vehicle forms part of a series of Japan-based buyout funds, which have collectively raised an aggregate JPY 253bn (approximately $2.6bn). The fund manager seeks buyout opportunities in Japanese companies operating in a wide range of industries, including food, industrial and media sectors.

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