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Keppel acquires remaining 50% stake in Pierfront
Firm upbeat on long-term prospects of private credit as an asset class
The Asset 4 Oct 2023

Keppel Corporation has acquired the remaining 50% interest in Pierfront Capital Fund Management from Clifford Capital Holdings (CCH), consolidating its ownership of the firm.

Pierfront Capital offers bespoke private credit financing solutions in real asset sectors. It focuses on corporate lending to operating companies with defensive infrastructure-like business models, across real asset sectors in Asia-Pacific. These include renewables and other core infrastructure, such as energy, transportation, telecommunications, along with social infrastructure and logistics. 

“We believe that the private credit asset class holds promising long-term growth potential, especially in today’s volatile economic landscape and tighter credit markets,” says Christina Tan, chief executive officer of fund management and chief investment officer of Keppel. “We are enthusiastic about opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region, where we see a growing number of companies seeking specialized intermediate capital solutions.”

Established in 2015, the Pierfront Capital platform deployed its first private credit fund which created a strong track record. This led to the establishment of the CCH-Keppel partnership in 2020 as well as their joint sponsorship of the second private credit fund, Keppel-Pierfront Private Credit Fund (KPPCF). KPPCF achieved its final close in 2022, attracting top-tier investors such as Alberta Investment Management Corporation on behalf of certain of its clients, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, GCM Grosvenor on behalf of a separately managed account, as well as Manulife.

The fund has fully deployed its committed capital across 16 transactions which are delivering attractive returns on a risk-adjusted basis, Keppel says.  

“We believe that the growing need for alternative lending solutions, combined with Keppel’s deep networks and extensive operating experience within the real asset industry, will strategically position Pierfront’s existing and upcoming credit funds to seize opportunities in Asian private debt markets. This strategy will enable us to offer investors attractive risk-adjusted returns with downside protection,” Tan adds.

Keppel says the latest transaction is not expected to have any material impact on its earnings per share and net tangible assets per share for the current financial year.

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