Symphony Raising New Fund

Singapore-based Symphony Capital Partners is raising a new, Asian mid-market growth and buyout fund in the range of $350 million to $500 million. This will be the first fund for the group as an independent firm and follows on its three existing funds, the most recent of which was a $500 million vehicle that closed in 2001. At present, the firm has $870 million under management.

Anil Thadani founded Symphony in 1992 as a joint venture with asset management giant Schroders Plc of the United Kindgom. It had been known as Schroder Capital Partners Ltd. And was focused on a broad range of tech investments.

Managing Director Sunil Chandiramani says that the new fund and name are part of the many changes taking place at Symphony. He says the new fund we’ll focus on just three areas: health care, tourism and leisure and consumer companies. He also says the firm will likely seek a public listing, probably on the Singapore Stock Exchange.

The firm operates offices in Singapore, Hong Kong and Mumbai, and will keep its current geographic focus, which is to invest in Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, India, Hong Kong and Singapore.

“We don’t do mainland China [investments],” Chandiramani says. “We don’t think it’s ready yet for the kind of mid-market growth capital investing that Symphony likes to make in the $25 million to $100 million range.”

Symphony represents one of Asia’s oldest private equity teams. Thadani started his first firm, and the pre-cursor to Schroder Capital Partners, Arral, in 1981. Since then, he and his partners have risen to the highest levels of visibility across Asia for their business acumen, but also for Thadani’s high-flying social connections. Thadani is one of the founders of the exclusive Aman Resorts hotel chain.

But even if Thadani today is more visible for his celebrity appearances, cars and clothing than his business deals, it’s doubtful the 25-year veteran of private equity is going to lose his focus any time soon.