Apollo eyes final Asia closing after biggest deal – Exclusive

After leading a $235m investment into Thailand’s tallest tower, the New York private equity giant’s real estate platform has reached the halfway mark on the capital raising for its Asia fund.  

Apollo Global Management, the New York-based private equity firm, has reached the halfway mark on the capital raising for its Asia opportunity real estate fund.

According to PERE sources, the firm’s real estate business in Asia has raised approximately $300 million against a $600 million target for the fund and is eyeing a final closing by or during this summer.

Apollo injected $165 million of the fund’s equity into the purchase of half-shares in companies which own a development containing the 314-meter MahaNakhon Tower in Bangkok, Thailand’s tallest skyscraper. The development also comprises retail space, restaurants and a hotel. The deal also includes a $70 million co-investment by Goldman Sachs’ Special Situations Group. The project is believed to have a total value of about $500 million.

The developer and seller of the project was Pace Development Corporation, a Bangkok-based company specializing in high-end residential and hospitality assets. Pace will retain the remaining stakes in the units which own the development.

The capture of the MahaNakhon Tower represents the biggest outlay by Apollo’s Asia real estate team which is led by chief executive Philip Mintz and includes former Merrill Lynch Asia real estate head Tim Grady as its chief investment officer. Mintz, Grady and a team of real estate professionals previously ran a firm called Venator Real Estate Capital Partners, purchased by Apollo last May.

Venator was manager of the Trophy Property Development Fund, a $1 billion, China-focused development vehicle which required rescuing after its previous manager ran into difficulties. Since turning that around, the firm has been busy raising and deploying capital from Apollo’s Asian property fund. The purchase of the MahaNakhon Tower was the sixth investment made for the vehicle, with prior outlays in China, India and in Thailand.

Though some parts are completed, the MahaNakhon Tower is still currently under development and the capital injected by Apollo and Goldman Sachs is expected to see it through to completion.

Apollo declined to comment