April 26, 2018 / 4:53 AM / 8 months ago

Bain Capital targets $4 bln for new Asia fund - source

* Bain to begin fundraising in July, source says

* Bain hopes to raise $3.5 billion to $4 billion, source says

* This will be Bain's fourth and biggest pan-Asia fund

By Kane Wu

HONG KONG, April 26 (Reuters) - Global private equity firm Bain Capital LLC is targeting up to $4 billion for a new Asia-focused fund, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said, adding yet more dry powder to the region that has enjoyed a two-year fundraising bonanza.

Bain Capital - which led the region's biggest ever private equity deal here with the $18 billion purchase of Toshiba's memory chip unit last year - will begin fundraising in July, the source said on condition of anonymity.

Bain hopes to raise $3.5-$4 billion, said the source who did not want to be named as the information is confidential.

Bain Capital declined to comment.

The fundraising comes at a time when the region is flush with funds. A total of 342 funds raised a combined $107 billion in Asia last year, according to data provider Preqin.

As of last September, dry powder available to Asia-focused private equity funds - money committed but not yet invested - reached a record $248 billion, up more than 70 percent from the total available in 2016.

Other ongoing and planned private equity fundraisings could add more than $30 billion to that pile in the next year.

While Bain's fourth pan-Asia fund will be the firm's biggest so far in the region, it is still petite versus some of its peers. KKR & Co raised a record $9.3 billion Asia-focused fund in 2016, while Carlyle is expected to soon close a $5 billion buyout fund.

Chinese fund Hillhouse Capital Group could beat KKR's record with its new fund, while Baring Private Equity Asia and PAG are each looking to raise up to $6 billion, people familiar with the fundraisings have told Reuters.

Bain's new fund will continue to invest in sectors including healthcare, industrial, financial services, technology, and media and telecom across major Asian markets, the source said.

In addition to its big bets on Japan, the firm's other portfolio companies in Asia include India's Axis Bank and Trans Maldivian Airways, a seaplane operator it bought together with a Chinese partner in December last year.

Bain's second pan-Asia fund, which raised $2.3 billion in 2012, saw a 19.7 percent internal rate of return by end-2016, according to disclosures by one of the fund's limited partners - the Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System. (Reporting by Kane Wu; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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