RPT-Jack Ma's buyout firm Yunfeng raises $1.1 bln in new fund -source

Thu May 29, 2014 4:55am EDT

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HONG KONG May 29 (Reuters) - Yunfeng Capital, a private equity firm founded by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's Jack Ma, has closed a new investment fund after raising $1.1 billion, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

The fund, Yunfeng Fund II, L.P., comes at a time of growing competition for technology deals in China, with the value of announced mergers and acquisitions up 118 percent so far in 2014 from a year prior at $18.9 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Yunfeng, established in 2010 by some of China's high-profile entrepreneurs, previously raised $1.5 billion for two funds, co-founder David Yu told Reuters in 2011. (link.reuters.com/mev67v)

The firm has accelerated its investment activity in recent months, teaming up with Alibaba to buy into pharmaceutical data provider company CITIC 21CN Co Ltd and Youku Tudou Inc .

Private equity firms typically raise new money when their last fund is around 70 percent invested.

The new fund has broadened the firm's investor base to include sovereign wealth funds and institutional investors, said the person, who declined to be identified as details were not public. Yunfeng had aimed to raise $1 billion, but increased the fund size to meet investor demand, the person said.

Yunfeng declined to comment.

Yunfeng has previously targeted investment in technology, media and telecommunications, healthcare and consumer sectors.

Its investments include Beijing Sogou Technology Development Co Ltd and biotech firm Shenzhen BGI Genemics Technology Co Ltd, as well as Alibaba, Reuters previously reported.

Alibaba this month filed for a U.S. initial public offering, in what is widely expected to the biggest-ever Internet listing.

Alibaba invested $100 million in Yunfeng Fund II, the e-commerce giant said in a statement last month. Giant Interactive Group Inc, whose chairman Yu Zhu Shi is a co-founder of Yunfeng, invested $20 million, 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 Yunfeng 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.

Asian Venture Capital Journal first reported the fund close on Wednesday. (Reporting by Stephen Aldred; Additional reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Denny Thomas and Christopher Cushing)

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