CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets has reorganised its private equity business as funds have now surpassed US

CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, the region's leading independent equity brokerage and investment bank, has reorganised its private equity business as funds have now surpassed US$1 billion following substantial fund raising in the past 12 months.

The new group will be called CLSA Capital Partners and will manage CLSA's four main funds investing in specific themes: domestic demand, asset reflation, Japan recovery and leveraged buyout financing. Together with coinvestment of an additional US$1 billion from global investors, CLSA Capital Partners will be in a position to consider investing in most deal types.

"Unlike many of our competitors, we have segmented our funds under management to focus on specific themes," said Gary Coull, Chairman and CEO of CLSA Capital Partners. "There are a number of firms with larger funds under management which have a global, generalist focus. We are focusing on Asian opportunities with dedicated teams around each theme."

CLSA's fund management group is backed by one of the region's most respected research teams. CLSA has 125 analysts in Asia, including top rated economics and strategy products plus sector and country specialists to which CLSA Capital Partners fund managers have direct access. In addition to its large regional network, CLSA can also call upon the global network of its parent, the world's 5th largest banking group Credit Agricole, to assist investee companies.

The four main funds are: Aria Investments, which focuses on growth capital for companies exposed to domestic demand; Fudo Capital, which has US$430 million to invest in Asian property, roughly half of which is earmarked for Japan; Japan Fund One, which has US$325 million for growth and mid-market buyout opportunities in Japan; and MezzAsia, which has US$200 million to provide mezzanine debt financing for Asian buyouts.

"While the economic outlook outside of Asia is full of potential time bombs -- American finances, derivative excesses, Middle East tensions, oil uncertainty, bird flu, rising interest rates -- there are still many positive things happening in the Asia- Pacific economies," Mr Coull said. "Our growth rates remain attractive, corporate profits are good, gearing is low and dividend payouts remain robust. There are plenty of opportunities for private equity investors across a range of asset classes and there is even some hope that Asia might prove more resilient than normal if there is a global event."

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