The Washington State Investment Board (WSIB), the US state pension plan that has generated $16bn of profits from private equity since its inception three decades ago, has approved a $400m commitment to KKR’s latest pan-Asian fund.
The investment, which was approved by the $79bn pension fund following a board meeting yesterday, matches the board’s commitment to KKR’s inaugural Asia buy-out fund, a $4bn investment vehicle the firm raised in 2007.
KKR is looking to raise up to $6bn for its second pan-Asian private equity fund, and plans to complete its first round of fundraising by mid-2012.
The size of the fund reflects the bullish mindsets of buy-out firms currently targeting investment in Asia. Private equity activity in Asia has reportedly tripled to $91bn from 2010.
WSIB has also made a $300m commitment to Apax Europe VIII, the London-based private equity house’s current investment vehicle that the firm hopes to close on €9bn, and a $250m commitment to emerging market investor Actis’ Global 4 fund.
WSIB boasts one of the largest allocations to private equity for a US pension fund, with $15.6bn of assets currently under management, representing around a quarter of the board’s total assets.
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