Actis Raises $2.9 Billion Emerging Markets Fund

BEIJING, Dec 1 (Reuters) – Private equity investor Actis has closed a new $2.9 billion global emerging markets fund, exceeding its initial target of $2.5 billion, the firm said on Monday.

It said the fund, Actis Emerging Markets 3 (AEM3), had won commitments from a diversified group of 100 investors from across the globe, including a number of first-time investors in emerging markets.

“AEM3 will be used to build a diversified portfolio of between 30 and 40 investments across Africa, China, India, Latin America and South East Asia, typically investing a minimum of $50 million of equity capital in buyout and growth transactions,” Actis said in a statement.

It said the fund is one of the largest private equity funds dedicated to emerging market funds that has closed this year and doubles the amount raised by the firm in 2004.

Paul Fletcher, a senior partner at the firm, said underlying economic growth remains resilient in many emerging markets despite global financial turmoil.

“Much of this growth can be linked to businesses benefiting from consumer demand and increased investment in domestic infrastructure and Actis’s investment strategy is tailored accordingly,” he said in a statement.

The fund has already made commitments to eight investments, including three previously announced deals in China — $50 million for a majority stake in hotpot chain Xiabu Xuabu; $103 million in Ambow Education and $65 million in 7 Days Inn Group, a budget hotel chain. (Reporting by Alan Wheatley; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree)