Asian private equity firm Baring Private Equity Asia has secured commitments of between $200 million and $300 million for its first real estate fund, which is targeting $500 million at this point, PERE understands.
Baring declined to comment when approached, but according to a source with knowledge of the matter the firm held a smaller first close about two months ago, and since then has brought the fund’s total equity to between $200 million and $300 million in several rolling closes.
The firm’s official target for the opportunistic vehicle is approximately $500 million. However, it is also understood that it is in talks with some institutional investors about possibly increasing its capacity. Eaton Partners is acting as the placement agent for the vehicle.
For its first Asian real estate fund, Baring is focused primarily on investments in emerging Asia, including China, India and Southeast Asia, rather than developed markets like Japan and Australia. Baring has not announced any deals from its real estate fund yet.
The firm has been positioning itself for a real estate investment drive in Asia since 2011, when it hired former RREEF and American International Group senior executive Mark Fogle as its first dedicated real estate professional to build out a platform.
Two more hires came a few months later, with former Pramerica Real Estate Investors’ Joji Thomas and Charles Lam joining.
With $5 billion assets under management and five regional funds under its belt, Baring already has established itself as a private equity heavyweight in Asia. Fund V closed at its hard cap of $2.5 billion in 2011, but it was so popular among investors that the fund reportedly was oversubscribed by $1 billion.