Asia Growth Capital eyes 2016 fund launch

The Singapore-based Credit Suisse spin-out will target between $300m and $500m for its first blind pool fund to tap Asian direct secondaries.

Asia Growth Capital Advisors (AGCA), a Singapore firm spun out of Credit Suisse in 2010, expects to launch a fund to focus on direct secondaries in 2016, according to Harjit Bhatia, the firm’s executive chairman.

The fund will target minority stakes in portfolio companies in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in India, South Korea, south-east Asia and China, and will target between $300 million to $500 million, Bhatia told Secondaries Investor.

This is a departure for AGCA, which currently raises capital from its investors on a per-deal basis and will raise its first dedicated secondaries fund since its spin-out.

“AGCA would be looking to expand its limited partner relationship base, both with existing and new LPs and strategic partners,” Bhatia said. The firm plans to use a committed fund structure which provides more flexibility and a faster turnaround time for pursuing larger opportunities in Asia.

The firm currently invests in deals between $50 million and $150 million and the new fund will follow a similar strategy, Bhatia said.

Muted IPO markets in China and India left about $244 billion in unrealised private equity exits last year, Bhatia said, leading to an increase in direct secondaries opportunities.

AGCA was founded when Bhatia and Soma Ghosal spun it out of Credit Suisse in 2010. The team managed a portfolio of assets that remained owned by Credit Suisse until 2012, when AGCA, HarbourVest Partners and Axiom Asia closed a deal to buy the assets from the bank in a secondaries deal, allowing Credit Suisse to exit the portfolio. The firm’s sole current fund, Unity Fund I, was created specifically for this deal, Bhatia said. He declined to comment on the size of that fund.

AGCA has over $500 million in assets under management and employs nine staff in offices across Singapore, Hong Kong, Mumbai and Seoul, according to its website.