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2nd fund for UOB and Hermes

Hermes Private Equity Management and United Overseas Bank Group have launched a second investment vehicle through the joint-venture set up between the two companies last year.

The UOB Hermes Asia Technology Fund, which has a target size of $150 million, held its first closing on February 5. The first closing was restricted to the sponsors, British Telecom (BT) Pension Scheme Trustees (owners of Hermes) and United Overseas Bank. Both have jointly committed $45 million to the fund. It is anticipated that a final closing will be held towards year-end.

The fund will invest in unquoted companies involved in the technology industry in the Asia Pacific region. These companies will primarily be based in South East Asia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and the US.

Average investment size will range from A3 million to A5 million. In terms of sector allocation, around 40 per cent will be dedicated to start-up and 60 per cent will be targeting second stage.

The fund’s advisor is UOB Venture Management Private Limited (UOBVM), the wholly-owned subsidiary of UOB that has specialised in direct equity investment since its was founded in 1992.

David Goss, co-managing director of UOB Global Capital, said that there has been an increased interest in Asian investments throughout Europe and added that the fund will be targeting third party investors on a global scale. Robert Padgett, chief executive of Hermes Private Equity Management Limited, said: “We are delighted to add a second fund to our joint venture with UOB Global Capital. The investment in the Asia Technology Fund is part of the private equity programme for the BT Pension Scheme, which is increasing its commitment to private equity to three per cent of total equities.”