Advent aims big in Japan

Buyouts giant Advent International has closed a US$550m (¥60m) aimed at investments in Japan. Advent Japan Private Equity Fund is the first mid-market private equity fund aimed solely at the country raised by a non-Japanese firm.

The fund will target investments in companies with enterprise values ranging from ¥5bn (US$45m) to ¥50bn (US$450m), with the capacity to participate in larger deals through co-investment with other Advent funds.

The fund is seeking opportunities in four sectors: healthcare and life sciences, industrial, retail and consumer, and support services.

John Singer, managing partner at Advent, said: “Advent has a long-standing involvement with the Japanese market, developed over 20 years. We now believe that the time is right to start direct investment. Not only has the private equity industry in Japan shifted from its initial focus on distressed situations and balance sheet restructuring to real, operationally-led value creation, but Japanese businesses have fundamentally embraced the need for enhanced global competitiveness in order to achieve long-term profit growth.

“We believe that our new fund is genuinely differentiated, combining a local Japanese team with significant industrial and operational experience, a sector-focused investment strategy and a high level of operating input supported by a global platform and resources.”

Advent has been present in Japan for 20 years, initial advising Japanese corporations on international venture capital investment followed in 2001 by the establishment of a local office.

JPEF is the fourth buyout funds raised by Advent since summer 2007. Following the close of the firm’s most recent global, Latin American and Central and Eastern European funds, it brings the total capital raised by Advent to US$14bn in 14 months.