Abraaj Said to Plan $4.5 Billion in First Close for Record Fund

(Bloomberg) -- Buyout firm Abraaj Group is planning a first close of as much as $4.5 billion by the end of June for what will be its largest-ever investment fund, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Dubai-based firm, which invests across markets from Asia to Latin America, will seek to top up the fund with a second close by December, if the first round is successful, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Potential investors from North America and Asia are currently doing due diligence, the people said.

No final agreements have been reached and the firm may decide to postpone if it fails to generate enough interest, they said. An Abraaj spokeswoman declined to comment on the fundraising plans.

Private equity firms are raising billions of dollars in new money as investors focus more on alternative investments amid a low interest rate environment. Bain Capital, the Boston-based private equity firm, is targeting $7 billion for its 12th North American buyout pool, people with knowledge of the matter said last week.

Abraaj is planning to raise as much as $8 billion from investors this year, people familiar with the matter said in January. The firm, which manages about $10 billion in assets, is raising an investment pool this year that will have a global focus, Chief Executive Officer Arif Naqvi said in an interview in Davos earlier this year without providing additional details.