Baring PE Asia targets $500m maiden real estate fund

Baring Private Equity Asia has begun fundraising for its debut real estate fund, seeking $500 million from investors. A first close is expected sometime in the next month.

Asian private equity firm Baring Private Equity Asia has started fundraising for its first real estate fund, PERE can reveal. According to multiple sources, the firm is hoping to raise approximately $500 million for the opportunistic vehicle, which it expects to invest in select countries across Asia. Baring is understood to have determined which markets it wants to invest the capital it raises, but it has yet to make a real estate investment for the vehicle.

Baring declined to comment when approached, but it is understood that a first close is expected sometime in the next month. Eaton Partners is acting as the placement agent for the vehicle.

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. At that point, he was able to make real estate investments using Baring’s $2.5 billion Fund V private equity fund. 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.