WM Partners to close debut fund by year-end

The Tokyo-based firm is targeting up to 8bn yen for its debut fund which focuses on domestic direct secondaries deals.

WM Partners, a Tokyo-based private equity firm, plans to hold a final close for its debut fund by the end of the year, according to chairman and managing partner Moriyoshi Matsumoto.

WM Partners’s first fund, JSPF No 3, is targeting up to 8 billion yen ($67 million; €59 million), Matsumoto told Secondaries Investor, although the firm’s website lists the target as 10 billion yen. The fund has raised about 6.2 billion yen so far, he said.

The fund has until now only targeted domestic investors, and the firm is in talks with foreign potential limited partners for funding, Matsumoto said.

“The current Japanese investor climate is cautious,” he said.

JSPF No 3 has invested in 11 deals so far since inception in 2013, including seven direct secondaries transactions and four limited partnerships secondaries deals, according to Matsumoto. The fund will focus mainly on deals in Japan, with between 10 and 20 percent of the fund focused on foreign transactions.

The fundraising launched in 2013 and is the first fund raised by the firm after Matsumoto led a spin-out of venture capital firm Japan Asia Investment Company in the same year. While still at Japan Asia Investment, the firm raised $25 million for JSPF No 1 in 2003 and $80 million for JSPF No 2 in 2005.

Up to 25 percent of the fund is allocated to acquiring LP stakes, with the remainder dedicated to direct secondaries deals, which Matsumoto said are easier to find in Japan.

“Without regulatory requirement pressures, institutional investors in Japan don’t usually sell [LP stakes] on the secondaries market,” he said.