Unison Capital raising $581 mln for new Japan fund

Firm: Unison Capital

Fund: Unison Capital Fund IV

Target: $581 million

The new fund is considerably smaller than Unison’s third fund of 140 billion yen raised in 2009, and answers a question investors have about how much demand there is for private equity deals in Japan. Unison was forced to shrink its third fund in 2011 by around a quarter as deals dried up in Japan.

The investment period on the third fund ends in August, a spokesman for Unison told Reuters.

Unison is also raising a separate fund of around 250 billion won ($234.71 million) to invest in South Korea, its first won-based fund, said Tatsuo Kawasaki, a partner at Unison, at the PEI Asia Forum in Hong Kong on March 12.

South Korea has seen an increase in private equity-backed M&A deals, helped by economic and political stability, a steady domestic stock market, and a stream of buyout targets being churned out by foreign and local conglomerates.

Unison’s recent flagship transaction is a sale of a sushi restaurant chain Akindo Sushiro Co to global buyout firm Permira Advisers Ltd for about $1 billion in 2012.

Stephen Aldred and Junko Fujita are correspondents for Reuters in Hong Kong and Tokyo, respectively.