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Ashmore raises third global distressed fund

The London-based emerging markets specialist has made an initial close on $1.3bn for its Global Special Situations Fund 3.

Ashmore Investment Manager, a London-based firm focusing on the emerging markets, has reached a first close on $1.3 billion (€1.01 billion) for the Global Special Situations Fund 3 (GSSF3).

Ashmore was founded in 1992 as an affiliate of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, then spun out in 1999 as an independent entity. The firm invests in debt, public equities and special situations, and has $21.4 billion under management as of the end of July. 

The new fund has a “traditional private equity drawdown structure” and a seven year term, according to a company statement.

“The logic behind the new fund was simple – we have very substantial deal flow and wanted our investors to benefit from this,” Ashmore managing director Mark Coombs said in the statement. According to a spokesperson for the firm, some additional investors may continue to trickle in, but the fund is now ready to begin investing. 

The investors in GSSF3 were primarily existing institutional investors, according to the statement. The fund’s predecessors GSSF and GSSF2 were launched in June 2003 and February 2005, respectively. These funds followed Ashmore’s first special situations fund raised in 1998, which focused on the post-financial crisis market in Asia.

For GSSF3, the firm is aiming for a portfolio of 13 transactions with a rough average of $100 million in size, although the actual size of investments made by the new fund will vary, says the spokesperson. The fund will focus on acquiring control stakes in capital-intensive companies within markets where local entrepreneurial capital is not readily available. Consequently, the fund would consider investing in a range of sectors, including energy, telecommunications and manufacturing.

Geographically, GSSF3 will invest in a number of developing markets, says the spokesperson, who adds that a distinguishing factor about Ashmore is its global, rather than region-specific, focus. Areas currently of particular interest for GSSF3 include China, India, Russia, Turkey and, to some extent, Mexico. However, that does not exclude investment opportunities within the Southeast Asian, the Balkan, African and Latin American from future consideration by the fund.