Alpha set to close Russian secondaries fund

Alpha Associates is raising its debut fund targeting $100m to $150m for mature fund interests in Russia and former Soviet Union countries, says managing partner Petra Salesny.

Alpha Associates is set to close its debut secondaries fund for Russian and the countries of the former Soviet Union in early May, according to managing partner Petra Salesny.

The fund has a target of between $100 million and $150 million and has already collected about $50 million. The fund’s anchor investor is the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which is providing a $50 million commitment.

Other limited partners in the fund include foundations and investment companies in the US and Europe.

Alpha also is planning to launch its third flagship fund of funds later this year for investments in Central and Eastern Europe and Russia, targeting €300 million. That fund makes primary commitments to fund managers, secondaries investments in Central and Eastern European members of the European Union and select co-investments.

Alpha formed the separate secondaries fund for Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, as the former Soviet Union countries are known, “in order to capture post-crisis opportunities” in the region, according to Salesny.

Secondaries opportunities in Russia and the CIS generally come from limited partners from more developed economies, Salesny said. Among the CIS countries, private equity opportunities exist in Russia and other CIS countries like Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus.

Alpha targets mature fund interests that are generally 50 percent funded, she said, and buys individual fund stakes rather than large portfolios.

“This is a very niche market and it’s very inefficient,” Salesny said.