International private equity firm Advent International is furthering its reach into Asia with the opening of an office in Tokyo. The firm also has offices in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Bangkok and Singapore. So far, Advent has hired a Japanese partner to help with its limited partner relationships.
However, Steve Kahn, a managing director at Advent, said reports stating that the firm is focusing on late-stage investments and buyouts is a bit misleading. “Part of the reason for establishing the direct presence there is to support the existing relationship that we already have [in Japan],” Kahn said. “We also see it as a market for additional fund raising for other funds, and we’re in the process of evaluating the market opportunity for doing private equity in Japan, but we’ve made no decisions about that yet.”
Kahn added that the firm has been involved with Japanese corporations for 15 years, but has never had a permanent office there. Currently, Advent International is working with between five and 10 major Japanese corporations including Toshiba and Tokyo Electric Power Co., which are investors in its fund.
In addition, Kahn said the firm’s decision to expand its presence in Japan with additional partners depends on the research that it is currently undertaking in the region.