China Renaissance Close Nears

Firms: China Renaissance Capital Investment; Credit

Suisse Group

Fund: China Harvest Partners, LP

Fund Target: $500 million

Placement Agent: Credit Suisse Securities

A final close for the debut fund from China Renaissance Capital Investment is imminent, according to a market source. The China-dedicated growth-capital vehicle was launched last year by Mark Qiu, the former chief financial officer at China’s state-run oil company CNOOC. Qiu launched the fund in partnership with the alternative investment arm of Credit Suisse Group, which has been described as the anchor investor in China Renaissance.

The inaugural vehicle was initially rumored to have a target of $1 billion, but press reports have since pegged it as a $500 million-targeted fund. A $310 million first close was reported by Asia Private Equity News in February, and late last month Credit Suisse submitted an SEC filing indicating it had raised $44 million for a feeder fund that is to be dedicated exclusively to the vehicle.

The Chinese market has been one of the more popular destinations for buyout firms in recent years. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. late last year opened up a Hong Kong office, while Thomas H. Lee Partners, just a few months prior, forged a partnership with H&Q Asia Pacific to pursue buyout opportunities in Greater China and other areas within Asia.

China Renaissance, meanwhile, was formed to make private equity investments in companies operating exclusively in China. If the firm hits its target, the fund would be one of the largest pools of money with a mandate focusing entirely on Chinese businesses. CVC Capital Partners and CCMP Capital Asia each closed funds last year totaling $1.975 billion and $1.575 billion, respectively, but unlike the China Renaissance-sponsored fund, each of those groups will also operate throughout Asia.

China Renaissance has already begun putting capital to work. The firm notched its first deal at the end of March, participating alongside Credit Suisse’s DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners in an investment in China eHouse Holding Co., a real estate consulting firm. The two groups were joined by Farallon Capital and Susquehana International Group in the transaction.

Credit Suisse Securities is listed as the placement agent in the public filing for the feeder fund and Credit Suisse managing directors Stephen Can, Michael Arpey and Joseph Huber were among those listed as investors.

Credit Suisse declined comment for this story. —K.M.