Asia’s Biggest Private Equity Acquirer Is Seeking $6 Billion

Hillhouse Capital Management, the Chinese investment firm that last year helped lead Asia’s biggest-ever buyout deal, is targeting to raise about $6 billion in a new private equity fund, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Hillhouse has started gauging interest from potential investors, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. If successful, it will be the biggest dollar buyout pool raised by the firm, which started in 2005 with $20 million from Yale University’s endowment.

Founder Zhang Lei parlayed that initial capital into the more than $35 billion of assets that Hillhouse manages today. The investment firm was an early backer of Tencent Holdings Ltd., which is now Asia’s biggest Internet company, and Chinese e-commerce operator Inc.

Hillhouse participated in more private equity purchases in Asia Pacific last year than any other investment firm, racking up $26 billion of transactions, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It beat Bain Capital, which was involved in $20.5 billion of deals in the region, and KKR & Co., which announced $16 billion of acquisitions, the data show.

The capital raising is still at an early stage, and details of Hillhouse’s plans could change, the people said. A representative for Hillhouse declined to comment.

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