Actis Raises Nearly $3B For Emerging Markets Fund

Firm: Actis

Fund: Actis Emerging Markets 3

Target: $2.5 billion

Amount Raised: $2.9 billion

Placement Agent: Helix Associates

Actis recently closed its latest fund, Actis Emerging Markets 3, at $2.9 billion, surpassing its goal of $2.5 billion, and doubling the amount raised by the firm in 2004.

More than one-third of the capital raised and half the limited partners came from North America, representing a cross section of public pension funds, endowments, family offices and financial institutions, Jonathan Bond, a partner, told Buyouts. The vehicle has 100 backers.

London-based Actis will mainly make control buyouts and growth capital investments but will also consider restructurings and privatizations. The firm plans to do 30 to 40 deals across Africa, China, India, Latin America and South East Asia, investing at least $50 million of equity capital in each transaction. Actis anticipates that China, India/South Asia and Africa will each receive 20 percent to 30 percent of the fund’s investments; Southeast Asia and Latin America will each get 10 percent to 15 percent.

Actis earned a 31 percent gross IRR and a 2.3x return multiple across both previous emerging markets funds, according to a March 2008 document from Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System, which committed up to $200 million in Fund 3. Other backers include fund-of-funds investor CDC Group ($650 million); San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System (up to $20 million); and SVG Capital, using its SVG Diamond Private Equity III ($10 million).

Helix Associates served as placement agent.