Japan’s Ant Capital holds first close on secondaries Fund 5 – exclusive

The private equity firm has already raised around half the target of Bridge No.5-B Private Equity Secondary Investment Fund, Secondaries Investor has learned.

Ant Capital Partners has returned to market with its latest secondaries fund and has already raised around half its target, Secondaries Investor has learned.

The Tokyo-headquartered private equity firm held a first close on around $70 million for Bridge No.5-B Private Equity Secondary Investment Fund in February, according to managing partner Takao Akaogi.

The fund launched in December with a ¥15 billion ($141 million; €114 million) target and a ¥20 billion hard-cap. It will solely invest in LP stakes and will be global in reach, Akaogi said.

The rapid deployment pace of the predecessor secondaries fund, Ant Bridge 4 Private Equity Secondary Investment Fund, meant that Ant decided to begin fundraising for Fund 5-B quickly, focusing on re-ups from existing investors, Akaogi said. Ant Bridge 4 is a ¥27 billion 2014-vintage that comprises a direct secondaries vehicle and an LP secondaries vehicle.

Bridge No.5-B’s limited partners will include Japanese corporate pension funds, university endowments and asset management firms.

Ant plans to begin raising a direct secondaries fund, Bridge No.5-A, in the second half of this year, Akaogi added. There are many situations in Japan where holders of direct minority stakes in companies need liquidity for reasons such as succession issues at family-owned businesses, he said.

Asian secondaries hit a record high last year with around $3.9 billion in deal volume, a 63 percent year-on-year increase, according to data from Greenhill Cogent. The region accounted for around 7 percent of the global total.

Ant Capital was established in 2000 and invests in secondaries, buyouts and venture capital, according to PEI data. It has an office in Hong Kong in addition to its Tokyo headquarters.