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Billionaire Michael Kim Closed His $6.5 Billion Fund Amid The Pandemic—He’s Now Ready To Pounce On Deals

Wednesday, July 8, 2020


When Korean private equity maven Michael Kim, founder of MBK Partners, launched a new fund last November, little could he have imagined that the world was on the cusp of a once-in-a-century pandemic.

But in crisis lies opportunity. When much of the world was still under lockdown, Kim closed MBK’s fifth and largest fund in May—raising $6.5 billion in just six months. Secured amid an environment that has upended the global economy, the fund is Asia’s largest to close thus far this year.

With this accomplishment, Kim bucked the trend in fundraising for Asia-based private equity firms, which is down two consecutive years, according to McKinsey. The pandemic, ironically, helped Kim reach part of his original target. Investors bought into his thesis that pandemic-linked economic distress would create new opportunities. “We are now sitting on the largest pile of deployable dollars [of any Asia- based buyout fund] just as the market opens up for a golden opportunity,” he says in a video interview from his New York condo overlooking Central Park.

 

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