Ex-Warburg Pincus chief in $200m Asia fund launch

Hong Kong-based real estate investor Asia Pacific Land is poised to make its private equity real estate fund debut following the appointment of former Warburg Pincus partner Philip Mintz earlier this year.

Former Warburg Pincus partner Philip Mintz is to lead the private equity real estate fund debut of Asia Pacific Land (APL), PERE has learned.

Mintz joined the Hong Kong-based firm in January and since then has been working on its first blind pool, commingled fund offering – a Tokyo residential fund for which APL will aim to raise $200 million in equity from investors including fund of funds, pension funds and financial institutions.

The firm, which manages more than $4.5 billion of real estate in China, Taiwan and Japan, acquired using equity from its balance sheet and through joint venture partnerships, aims to hold a first closing at the end of last month.

“A lot of investors want to invest in smaller vehicles and some want to invest directly with operating partners,” Mintz said, “This fund will have a very limited partner-friendly structure.”

He said the fund was likely to be the first in a series of small funds, which he said were more in favour than the larger pan-continental or global vehicles that dominated the capital raising landscape prior to the global economic downturn.

“We’re not after the largest vehicle in the world. In fact, we’re going to offer the opposite. We’d rather have fewer partners and run more vehicles – that’s the model we like,” he said.

The minimum commitment for investors to the fund will be $15 million and the vehicle will deploy gearing at a maximum ratio of 65 percent loan to value.

Asia Pacific Land started operations in Hong Kong and China in 1994 before extending to Japan in 1997. The business has grown to 115 staff.

Mintz previously led Warburg Pincus’ real estate investing platform in China, the only country in which it currently has exposure to the sector.

Among the deals he was involved with was the 25 percent entity stake acquisition in Shanghai ZK Real Estate Development Company, the Shanghai-focused residential firm.

According to a report by Reuters, the deal which saw the private equity firm commit $30 million in equity to new developments. Prior to his time at the private equity firm he was chief executive officer at GE Real Estate’s Asia Pacific division.