Park Square expands into Asia with new Seoul office

The European private debt fund manager has picked South Korea for its first Asia office as it strengthens its global coverage.

Park Square Capital, a London-headquartered private credit manager, has established its first Asia office in Seoul, Private Debt Investor has learned.

The group officially opened a representative office in the South Korean capital in March. Jangmoon Kim has been heading the office since she joined the firm in the same month. It is understood she had a working relationship with Park Square – as a fund distribution agent for South Korea – during her previous position at IBK Securities, also based in Seoul.

According to a source familiar with the matter, Park Square did not set up the Seoul office to conduct investment activities, but it will strengthen the firm’s coverage of Asia, which has become an important market for the manager.

Further details on the firm’s expansion plan for Asia and its LP roster were not available.

As PDI previously reported, Park Square has won mandates from at least four Korean LPs: Korea PostPublic Officials Benefit Association, Police Mutual Aid Association, and Construction Workers Mutual Aid Association.

Two regulatory filings as of 13 April showed that the investment firm had garnered $1.37 billion for the latest vehicle in its private debt fund series, Park Square Capital Partners IV. Evercore Group, a New York-headquartered investment banking advisory group, and Puente America Capital, a London-based boutique firm, were placement agents for the fund.

Puente America has a joint venture with Atlantic Pacific Capital, a Greenwich, Connecticut-headquartered placement agent, PDI understands.

The predecessor fund, Park Square Capital Partners III, held a final close on €1.19 billion in March 2016. Among Park Square’s limited partners based in the US, Orange County Employees Retirement System committed $50 million to the third fund in a separate series, Credit Opportunities III, in December 2016, according to minutes of OCERS’ investment manager monitoring subcommittee meeting held in September 2018. OCERS allocated $100 million to Park Square Capital Credit Opportunities II as well.

According to the meeting minutes, the private credit manager typically invests in companies with EBITDA of €100 million to €400 million and targets 11 to 13 percent, in gross returns, on a levered basis.

Although Park Square focuses on senior debt investments across Europe and the US, a quarter of its AUM comprises direct lending, with the remainder in junior debt investments. The firm has invested more than $15 billion in senior and subordinated debt since its inception in 2004.