KKR raises $15bn for largest Asia fund

U.S. investment company KKR on Tuesday said it raised $15 billion for its fourth Asia fund, making it the largest private equity fund in the Asia-Pacific region. The vehicle is more than 60% larger than its immediate $9.3 billion predecessor, which was raised in 2017, and brings KKR's total assets under management in Asia to over $30 billion. The new fund will target "emerging consumption and urbanization trends" as well as carve-outs and spinoffs, KKR said. KKR entered Asia in 2005 and has been a prolific dealmaker during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its biggest investments last year include a $1.5 billion deal for India's Jio Platforms, a digital services business launched by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, and a $650 million arrangement for Vingroup's property unit Vinhomes. In Japan, it teamed up with Internet conglomerate Rakuten to invest in the supermarket chain Seiyu.

Globally, private equity funds raised $611 billion in 2020, less than the $709.3 billion raised in 2019, according to Preqin. But the new fund shows institutional investors are on the hunt for returns as interest rates remain low. KKR said the capital raised for the new fund exceeded its original target and "received strong support from a diverse group of new and existing global investors," including those in Asia.

KKR itself will be investing about $1.3 billion in the fund, the company said.