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Warburg Pincus to raise up to $4 billion for new China fund

Warburg Pincus to raise up to $4 billion for new China fund

The private equity firm is looking to raise its second China-focused private equity fund, which will give it more firepower to cut deals in the world’s second-largest economy

The firm plans to formally launch the fundraising in early 2019, according to sources who refused to be named. The move comes after it invested Ant Financial’s $14bn financing round in June.

The sources also added that Warburg Pincus’ new China fund will also invest alongside the firm’s latest global private equity fund which is set to close in the coming months. The two funds are set to contribute equally to Warburg Pincus’ future investments in China.

Warburg Pincus itself declined to comment.

This latest fundraising will add to a massive industry-wide pool of money for Asian acquisitions and investments. Most notably in China, with investors being attracted by rapid economic growth and a larger pool of fast-growing technology companies compared to other major markets.

As of mid November, Asia- focused private equity managers raised a combine $49bn in dollar-denominated funds for the region. This was up from $38.8bn over the same period last year, according to data provider Preqin.

In September, China’s Hillhouse Capital raised Asia’s biggest private equity fund at $10.6bn. In June, Blackstone Group said it had raised about US$9.4bn for two new funds – the largest-ever fund dedicated to real estate investments in Asia as well as its first private equity fund for the region.

Warburg Pincus was founded in 1966, and was an early player in the Chinese market. It’s first investment was made in 1994. It’s second China fund will continue to invest in sectors including healthcare, financial services, technology, consumer and real estate, sources said.

The firm’s China investments include stakes in ESR, a pan-Asia logistics real-estate firm which plans a $1.5bn Hong Kong IPO next year, according to Refinitiv publication IFR, as well as Chinese electric-vehicle maker NIO and Chinese courier ZTO Express , both of which are already listed in New York.

Its first China fund, which raised $2bn in late 2016, saw a 27.8% net internal rate of return as of the end of June, according to disclosures by one of the fund’s limited partners – the Washington State Investment Board.

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