PEI Awards 2019: Asia-Pacific winners

TR Capital and Campbell Lutyens were just some of the winners in the secondaries categories of sister publication Private Equity International's 2019 awards.

Asia-Pacific saw a decline in deal volume last year, according to advisor Greehill, with many secondaries buyers managing to fill their allocations to the region during a busy 2018. The region saw a meaningful decline in GP-led volumes, from 17 percent by volume in 2018 to 6 percent last year.

All the same, the region was home to several noteworthy deals in 2019, including the largest ever LP stake sale – a $5 billion portfolio sold by Japan’s Norinchukin Bank– a single-asset restructuring involving blue-chip Asian general partner Baring Private Equity and a rare renminbi-to-dollar restructuring. Here are the winners.

LP Sale of the Year in Asia

1. GIC, PJT Park Hill

2. QSuper, Campbell Lutyens

3. Norinchukin Bank, Ardian, Greenhill

In February, sister title Buyouts reported GIC was working with PJT Park Hill on a billion dollar-plus portfolio sale, one of several to emerge from Asia in 2019. GIC has been a perennial seller and key driver of volumes in Asia, having sold $2 billion of stakes to Goldman Sachs Asset Management in 2018. It has also proved particularly innovative, backing a landmark renminbi-to-dollar restructuring involving Chinese GP Loyal Valley.

GP-led Deal of the Year in Asia

1. Coller Capital, Campbell Lutyens for Baring Asia Private Equity

2. Lexington Partners, Lazard for TPG Capital

3. HarbourVest Partners for Norwest/Avataar

In November 2019, Secondaries Investor revealed that Baring Asia Private Equity was to run a single-asset transaction on its 2007-vintage, $1.52 billion Fund IV. Melbourne-based post-secondary education provider EduCo Global was lifted into a continuation fund backed by Coller Capital, giving the general partner more time to manage a top-performing asset.

Baring ranked 33rd in the PEI 300 ranking of the biggest fundraisers in private equity, making it the second-largest Asia-headquartered firm on the list.

Secondaries Firm of the Year in Asia

1. TR Capital

2. GIC

3. NewQuest Capital Partners

A multi-time winner of this award, TR Capital had a strong year for fundraising and dealmaking in 2019. The Hong Kong-based direct secondaries specialist launched its Fund IV, with a target of $300 million, and held a first close. It also closed five deals, including a renminbi-to-US dollar restructuring that allowed GP Kinzon Capital to open itself to foreign investors. The deal, advised by Lazard, involved seven assets and was worth around
$100 million including follow-on capital.

Secondaries Advisor of the Year in Asia

1. Campbell Lutyens

2. Lazard

3. Atlantic Pacific Capital

Campbell Lutyens takes two of the three regional advisory awards in 2019. The firm did $1.4 billion of deals for six clients in 2019, including Baring Private Equity’s award-winning single-asset restructuring and the sale of a $500 million LP commitment for an Australian superannuation fund.

It also worked on a GP-led process on Legend Capital’s crisis era Fund IV, a $200 million deal backed by Hamilton Lane. The transaction provided extra time and capital for a portfolio of 12 China-based assets.

Secondaries Law Firm of the Year in Asia

1. Kirkland & Ellis

2. Dechert

3. Proskauer Rose

Kirkland & Ellis completes a clean-sweep of the legal categories, having advised on
$4.5 billion-worth of Asian secondaries deals in 2019. These included at least three portfolio sales, seven GP-led fund restructurings and the winner of our award for best direct secondaries deal.

Kirkland & Ellis advised HarbourVest Partners, which acquired a portfolio of six
Indian growth assets from Norwest Venture Partners for newly formed Avataar Capital to manage. The new fund is $240 million in size, including follow-on capital.