China's Hillhouse raises $10.6 billion in Asia's biggest private equity fund

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hillhouse Capital, an investor in top Chinese technology firms including Tencent 0700.HK and Baidu BIDU.O, has closed its latest funding round at $10.6 billion, it said, making it the region's biggest private equity capital raising.

The new fund, Hillhouse Fund IV, will look for investment opportunities across the healthcare, consumer, technology and services sectors globally, with a focus on Asia, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

Hillhouse's $10.6 billion fundraising exceeded the $9.3 billion raised by private equity firm KKR & Co's KKR.N Asia-focused buyout fund in June 2017, which was a record for the region at that time.

Hillhouse, a Chinese investment firm founded in 2005 by Zhang Lei with seed funding from Yale University’s endowment, is among several China-focused investment managers that have funds in both U.S. and Chinese currencies.

Hillhouse said the new fund, which would leverage its capabilities to drive long-term growth in portfolio companies, was heavily oversubscribed.

The Hillhouse fund adds to a massive industry-wide pool of money for Asian acquisitions and investments, with investors attracted by rapid economic growth and a growing number of technology companies compared to other major markets.

In June, Blackstone Group LP BX.N said it had raised about $9.4 billion for two new funds - the largest-ever fund dedicated to real estate investments in Asia as well as its first private equity fund for the region.

A Hillhouse-led consortium last month expressed an interest to offer $46 per share for Yum China Inc YUMC.N, which was later rejected by the biggest fast-food chain in China, Reuters reported, citing sources.

Reporting by Kane Wu and Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by Darren Schuettler