Chinese private equity firm Centurium raises over $2 billion in debut fund

FILE PHOTO: CEO of Luckin Coffee Jenny Qian Zhiya (3rd R), non-executive chairman of Luckin Coffee Charles Zhengyao Lu, and David Li, co-founder and CEO of Luckin’s backer Centurium Capital celebrate the first trade of the company’s stock during the IPO at the Nasdaq Market site in New York, U.S., May 17, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

HONG KONG (Reuters) – China’s Centurium Capital, a big backer of domestic startup Luckin Coffee, said it has raised more than $2 billion in its debut fund, giving the private equity firm more firepower to cut deals involving the world’s second-largest economy.

The firm, co-founded by the former head of Warburg Pincus Asia Pacific, David Li, said in a statement on Wednesday that it raised the sum in U.S. dollars from investors for Centurium Capital Partners 2018 L.P.

The fund has secured strong interest from global investors, known as limited partners (LPs), such as pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and funds-of-funds, it said.

Investors in the fund include Singapore’s GIC Pte Ltd and Temasek Holdings, Canada’s Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, China Investment Corp (CIC) and U.S. pension fund Washington State Investment Board, said two people with direct knowledge of the matter.

Centurium declined to comment on the fund’s LPs. All the investors didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The U.S. dollar fund will help Centurium invest in Chinese firms that use overseas structures such as variable-interest entities.

Reporting by Julie Zhu; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharamam

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