HONG KONG (Reuters) – Chinese private equity firm Boyu Capital, an investor in Chinese tech titans including billionaire Jack Ma’s Ant Group, is raising a new China-focused fund targeting up to $ 6 billion, three said. people with knowledge of the matter. .
Its fifth and largest US dollar-denominated fund is likely to close anytime soon, said one of the people, who declined to be identified because the information is confidential.
Boyu did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Fundraising by a company widely associated with tech startups amounts to a high-profile test of investor appetite at a time when increased oversight of China’s tech giants clouds the short-term prospects for those companies. .
This follows the November suspension of Ant double-listing authorities in Shanghai and Hong Kong, delaying the considerable returns early investors like Boyu might have expected from the world’s largest initial public offering (IPO).
The fintech giant had planned to raise $ 37 billion at a valuation of $ 315 billion. Since the suspension, China has improved oversight of its local champions, which has also exposed its investors to increased public scrutiny.
A central bank official said Ant’s IPO was suspended to protect consumers and investors. Ant has since agreed to a restructuring plan with regulators, Reuters reported this month.
Boyu was founded in 2010 by, among others, Alvin Jiang, grandson of former President Jiang Zemin. The firm has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore, and invests in the consumer and retail, financial services, healthcare and media and technology sectors, its website showed.
He is known for his 2012 investment in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, which helped Ma buy back half of Yahoo! Inc’s 40% stake in the e-commerce firm, Reuters reported.
At $ 6 billion, Boyu’s new fund would be one of the largest in the region focused on China. The last time it raised $ 3.6 billion in 2019.
Previous investors include Hong Kong’s richest man Li Ka-shing and Singapore state investors Temasek Holdings Ltd and GIC Pte Ltd, Reuters reported. The New York Retirement Pool has also been an investor, the State Comptroller’s website showed.
Private equity managers in Asia raised $ 108 billion for 481 new funds last year, 45% less in dollars than in 2019, Preqin data showed, as the COVID-19 pandemic slowed fundraising. .
Activity has rebounded in 2021 with $ 21 billion raised through 56 funds so far, the data showed.
INVESTMENTS IN TECHNOLOGY
Boyu invested in Ant’s $ 4.5 billion fundraiser in 2016 and a $ 14 billion funding round two years later. Meanwhile, Ant’s valuation jumped from $ 60 billion to $ 150 billion.
The private equity firm has invested in other booming Chinese health care and tech startups in recent years that generated lucrative profits, two of the people said.
The firms in the portfolio include carrier Didi Chuxing, artificial intelligence (AI) firm MegVii and live streaming app operator Kuaishou Technology, according to media reports and public information.
In January, he participated in a $ 700 million fundraiser by artificial intelligence company 4Paradigm, data from Dealogic showed.
Report by Kane Wu; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee and Christopher Cushing