Phoenix hauls $400m for fifth Asia fund

The Hong Kong firm is expected to maintain a Greater China focus for its Phoenix Asia Real Estate Investments V fund with many of its investments coming from Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Phoenix Property Investors, the Hong Kong-based private equity real estate firm, has hauled two-thirds of its targeted equity for its fifth Asia opportunity fund.

PERE understands the firm has raised $400 million of its targeted $600 million for Phoenix Asia Real Estate Investments V. The money has come thanks to commitments from public and corporate pension funds, state endowments, government-related funds and high net worth families from the US, Europe and the Middle East. The remaining $200 million for the 8-year fund is expected to be raised later this year.

It is understood that Monument Group has been acting as the fund’s placement agent.

There have been few capital raisings for Asia private equity real estate funds so far in 2013 although the news from Phoenix comes within one month of a $500 million first closing by The Blackstone Group for its first pan-Asia fund and a $200 million second closing by neighbour and fellow Hong Kong investor, Gaw Capital Partners, for its fourth China fund.

Phoenix is expected to focus its efforts for its fifth fund on Greater China. Although the 60-staff firm has an office in Tokyo and has completed investments in Japan for past funds, it is expected to stick with a strategy revolving around Hong Kong and Taiwan. Indeed, few investments are expected to be made in Japan, if any.

The firm is understood to have fared well in its previous fund, Phoenix Asia Real Estate Investments IV, a 2010 vintage fund which collected $450 million. That fund, which is now about 90 percent invested, is thought to be projecting IRRs of 20 percent and 2x equity in line with its original targets. The fifth fund has a similar return target.

Phoenix was founded in 2002 by managing partners Samuel Chu and Benjamin Lee. The firm has since raised more than $1 billion of equity and has completed approximately $ 2 billion of acquisitions across four private equity real estate funds.

Phoenix was unavailable for comment.