Australian-based IMF Bentham Ltd. said this week that it had raised up to AUD$150 million, or more than $115 million, from two institutional investors to finance the litigation funder’s future cases in Asia, Australia, Canada and Europe.
The move is the latest large fundraising in the growing litigation finance industry, coming fresh on the heels of Chicago-based Longford Capital Management LP announcing last month that it had raised $500 million for a U.S.-based fund.
The international investment in IMF Bentham follows a February announcement by the company’s U.S. arm touting a deal to team up with New York-based Fortress Investment Group LLC, which manages $70 billion in assets, to raise up to $200 million for domestic investments.
IMF Bentham said it has now raised close to AUD$480 million, or $377 million, through bond issues within the past two years combined with the funds raised this month and in February.
“The launch of the funding vehicles reflects again the market’s perception of IMF,” said a statement by IMF Bentham’s managing director and CEO Andrew Saker. “IMF’s history of success, its strength of its procedures and policies, and its people, made these achievements possible.”
The latest IMF Bentham deal was another example of the company’s recent strategy of teaming up with large institutional investors.
Partners Capital Investment Group LLP, which manages $20 billion in assets for institutional investors that include the endowments at Cambridge and Oxford universities, will invest up to AUD$90 million, or about $70 million. Singapore-based private investment group Amitell Capital Pte Ltd. will invest up to AUD$30 million, or about $23.6 million. IMF Bentham itself will invest up to AUD$30 million split between two funds that are managed for each of the new investors.
That strategy differs from Longford Capital’s approach to its latest fundraising, which the firm said was contributed by 195 investors.
IMF Bentham also said it purchased an “after-the-event” insurance policy that would cover potential rulings that could put the company on the hook for costs related to litigation losses. That insurance is more common in the U.K. and other jurisdictions that are more likely than the U.S. to award attorneys fees to successful defendants in civil litigation.
IMF Bentham said the money from Amitell Capital and Partners Capital would be spent within three years. DLA Piper advised IMF Bentham on the deal.
Earlier this week, IMF Bentham agreed to provide financing for a suit being brought by Kobre & Kim against patent management firm CPA Global Ltd., which is in the process of being sold to private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners LP. Burford Capital Ltd., another rival litigation financier, also announced plans this week to expand its operations to Singapore.