Morgan Stanley still going in $1.5bn-targeting Asia fundraise, eyeing final close


news_asia_lrgMorgan Stanley Private Equity is pushing to complete its $1.5bn-targeting Asia fundraise “soon” after moving past the point of the year by which it had hoped to close the vehicle.

The firm’s fourth Asian buyout vehicle is set to close in the near future according to Dow Jones, which cited people familiar with the situation.

AltAssets revealed in January that the firm was hoping to hold a first close of up to $750m before the end of the month, and hoped to wrap up the fundraise within another six months.

That amount was thought to have been hit thanks to a $100m commitment from the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System, while LPs including the University of Michigan have pledged capital to the vehicle since.

Fund IV is expected to continue its predecessor’s focus on buyout deals across India, China, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan and Australia, although the source said the latest vehicle would be hoping to see more activity in Korea than had been previously undertaken.

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney is acting as a placement agent for the fund according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and is estimated to receive about $1m in fees.

The firm’s last pan-Asian investment vehicle, Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia Fund III, was closes on $750m in 2007.

Morgan Stanley-backed Tianhe Chemicals Group is reportedly targeting a Hong Kong public listing next year, which could see the private equity arm recoup a quick return on its $300m investment from 2012.

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