PEI Awards 2017: Asia-Pacific secondaries

Deal, firm, advisor and law firm of the year in the coveted awards for sister publication Private Equity International.





Secondaries firm of the year in Asia

  1. TR Capital
  2. HarbourVest Partners
  3. NewQuest Capital Partners

The Asian secondaries market has come a long way in recent years and last year accounted for around 8 percent of global deal volume by seller base, according to Evercore. Hong Kong-based TR Capital is one of the few secondaries firms making waves in this area. Highlights from last year include closing its third fund on $200 million and closing five deals, including its first Vietnamese LP stake acquisition and two Indian fund restructurings which are understood to have closed.

“As Asian investors become increasingly sophisticated, secondary investment is no longer a niche option,” said partner Frederic Azemard.

This is TR Capital’s second win in this category in a row – surely a sign we’ll be hearing more about the direct secondaries specialist in years to come.

Secondaries deal of the year in Asia

  1. Lexington Partners and Lazard for Warburg Pincus
  2. Temasek and Greenhill Cogent for British Columbia Investment Management Corporation
  3. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Lazard for Olympus Capital Asia

Competition for Asian secondaries deal of the year in 2017 was fiercer than ever and it’s arguable the three deals in contention all deserve honourable mention. There can be only one winner, and this year secondaries giant Lexington Partners along with advisory firm Lazard took top place. “A really cool deal,” was how one market source described this innovative transaction. Warburg Pincus sold a roughly $1.2 billion strip of its Asian portfolio, made up of stakes in 29 Asian companies, into a new vehicle with new terms.

Lexington was the majority buyer, and Goldman Sachs Asset Management, along with a few other parties, also joined in.

The deal was significant because it involved a large, brand name primary manager tapping the secondaries market to help with its portfolio management – a sign secondaries are becoming more mainstream.

Secondaries advisor of the year in Asia

  1. Lazard
  2. Greenhill Cogent
  3. Atlantic-Pacific Capital

Leading the charge in the region last year was Lazard, which executed at least two headline-grabbing deals, one of which was voted by PEI readers as Secondaries Deal of the Year in Asia. The firm advised on around $2 billion in net asset value of Asia-focused secondaries deals last year, accounting for around 40 percent of regional volume.

“The legitimisation and growth of GP-led liquidity solutions was a key theme in 2017, and Lazard expects volumes in Asia-Pacific to grow in both GP-led solutions and LP portfolio sales in 2018,” said Nick Miles, regional head of Lazard’s private fund advisory group for Asia-Pacific.

Lazard’s work with buyout giant Warburg Pincus on the sale of a strip of assets from its Asian portfolio worth around $1.2 billion grabbed headlines for its innovation, size and brand name GP. Expect Lazard to further open up the Asian secondaries market this year.

Law firm of the year in Asia (secondaries)

  1. Kirkland & Ellis
  2. Debevoise & Plimpton
  3. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett

Kirkland & Ellis has done a clean sweep of the secondaries categories, picking up the award for best in North America, best in Europe and best in Asia, for the second year in a row. The firm worked on one of the most interesting deals to take place in 2017, the $1.2 billion sale of a strip of Asian assets from Warburg Pincus XI, an $11.2 billion, 2012-vintage buyout fund. The deal, which involved the sale of 29 separate stakes, many of which were in venture capital funds, was backed by a group of investors led by Goldman Sachs and Lexington Partners. As well as being one of the largest secondaries transactions to take place last year, the structure highlighted the growing range of possibilities that the market can offer.