Behind Tikehau Capital’s Asia push

The Temasek-backed French asset manager is focusing on Japan in pursuit of partnerships and a new LP base.

Tikehau Capital is in the process of opening a Tokyo office as part of a wider push into Asia. A spokesman for the French asset manager confirmed on 17 May that it has appointed Sergei Diakov to head the office and plans to make another appointment in the coming months.

The firm said its main objectives for the office are to diversify its LP base, speed up its investment pace in the region and pursue investment partnerships or joint ventures with Asian players.

Japan has become one of the firm’s key priorities in the region as it believes the country’s investors are looking to diversify outside their domestic market.

“We are strong believers in the fact that if we want to be an efficient and strong performer and investor in private debt, we need to be very local,” Jean-Baptiste Feat, co-head of Asia, told PDI. “Being on the ground, with a network of local offices throughout Europe, enables us to capture the best investment opportunities for our investors.”

In line with the strategic shift towards Asian investors, Tikehau Capital launched its first fund of funds vehicle dedicated to investing in Asia, as sister publication Private Equity International reported.

Tikehau Fund of Funds I held a first close on $100 million with a plan to raise up to $150 million by 2020. Fund I will be mandated to invest in Asian private debt and venture capital funds, as well as private equity vehicles.

Sharing his view on the growing number of private debt fund managers in Europe, Feat noted that Tikehau’s direct lending strategy focuses on lending to European mid-market companies.

He added that the positioning of the firm enables it to remain competitive in the challenging environment facing a growing number of new fund managers in Europe.

For its direct lending strategy, Tikehau is targeting European mid-market companies that have between €100 million and €2 billion in revenue. Tikehau’s direct lending deals mainly come from PE-sponsored companies and banks.

Singapore’s sovereign body Temasek holds 5 percent of the listed French asset manager, according to Q1 2019 presentation materials seen by PDIMost recently, Morgan Stanley acquired a 5.5 per cent stake in Tikehau Capital Advisors, which is the main shareholder in Tikehau Capital, as PEI reported

According to its earnings as of 31 March, Tikehau Capital SCA had €22.4 billion of assets under management in Q1 2019, with private debt the largest asset class at €8.3 billion.