Pradera to hold first close for $1.5bn China fund

The firm is close to completing its initial round of fundraising for its first fund outside Europe, targeting China’s retail sector.

Pradera Asset Management, the Europe-focused private equity firm, is close to completing its initial fundraising for a fund focused on the retail sector in China. It is working to raise up to £253 million ($600 million) of equity at the first closing due in May.

A spokesperson for the firm said iI is aiming to raise further equity at a later date to give the fund a £1.5 billion ($3 billion) shopping centre portfolio.

The London-based firm launched the China fund in February, and intends to set up an office in Hong Kong shortly. The fund will be managed from this new office, and executive directors David Fletcher and Simone Asser are currently in the process of re-locating.

Accotrding to the firm, this first Asia fund will mainly be used to buy three shopping center developments in China’s second-tier cities valued at around $1.3 billion.

The new China fund is targeting investors in North America, Europe and the Middle East, and is targeting an IRR of 18 percent.

David Fletcher moved from Pradera’s London office to become Managing Director of Pradera Asia in Hong Kong at the beginning of April.  Pradera offices in China will follow as the centres near completion.  Fletcher said, “Our new Fund will provide a good opportunity for institutional investors to invest early in mass market shopping centres in China.  We’re looking forward to a successful first closing in May.”