Singapore’s EFA Group targets $300m

The firm has garnered more than $100m to date for its second direct lending fund.

EFA Group, an alternative asset manager, has held the first close on its latest closed-ended direct lending vehicle, the EFA Asia Secured Credit Fund.

The firm’s spokesperson confirmed to Private Debt Investor this week that it had raised more than $100 million to date, split between the fund, managed accounts and co-investments. The fund has deployed an undisclosed amount of capital across three transactions.

The vehicle makes first-lien, senior secured loans to non-sponsored corporates across Asia, Australia and New Zealand. It will target a net IRR of 12-15 percent and has a five-year life, which is subject to two additional one-year extensions.

EFA is looking to raise a total of $300 million for the fund by the end of 2020 through existing investors and in partnership with a market specialist in Japan.

The firm acts as a term loan provider to corporates, and typically underwrites its loans with a security package and hard asset collateral. It focuses on the natural resources, manufacturing and logistics sectors.

According to a statement released on Monday, EFA’s first closed-ended credit fund was launched in 2016 and deployed more than $400 million across 22 transactions as of 13 January. The statement added that investors in this vehicle saw a net annualised yield of about 12 percent at the fund level.

Xavier de Nazelle, head of private credit at EFA Group, is overseeing investment activities for the direct lending fund series.

The firm declined to comment further.

As PDI reported in 2017, EFA’s first direct lending fund was the EFA Real Economy Income Trust.

It is understood that the firm is also fundraising for two open-ended vehicles: LH Asian Trade Finance Fund and EFA Crescent Structured Trade Finance Fund, launched in September 2006 and December 2017 respectively.

EFA Group, established in 2003, is headquartered in Singapore with offices in in Singapore, Istanbul, London and Melbourne. It is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore under EuroFin Investments.