Alibaba founder Ma's buyout firm Yunfeng raising new $1bln fund -source

HONG KONG, March 18 Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:43am EDT

HONG KONG, March 18 (Reuters) - Chinese private equity firm Yunfeng Capital, co-founded by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's Jack Ma, is raising up to $1 billion in its second fund, a person with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

Yunfeng, established by high-profile Chinese entrepreneurs in 2010, raised $1.5 billion in its debut fund in 2011, and has targeted investment in technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) related companies, as well as healthcare and consumer products.

Yunfeng's investments include Alibaba, Beijing Sogou Technology Development Co Ltd and biotech firm Shenzhen BGI Genemics Technology Co Ltd, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The latest fundraising comes at a time of growing competition for deals in China's TMT sector, with the value of announced mergers and acquisitions so far this year up 87 percent from a year earlier at $5.6 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Giant Interactive Group Inc, whose chairman Yu Zhu Shi is a co-founder of Yunfeng, has already invested $20 million in Yunfeng Fund II, L.P., according to a filing with the U.S. securities regulator.

Shanghai headquartered Yunfeng derives its name from the Chinese first names of Jack Ma and its chairman David Yu, the founder of display advertising company Target Media.

Other Yunfeng co-founders include Jason Jiang, chairman of Focus Media Holding Ltd, and Yong Hao Liu, chairman of New Hope Group Co Ltd, according to the firm's website.

Yunfeng declined to comment on the fundraising. The source was not authorised to talk to the media.

Asian Venture Capital Journal, which first reported the Yunfeng fundraising, said the fund had already held a first close of $600 million.

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