With 3,250 deals worth USD 591.6 Bn, both the number of Asian transactions & their total value reached the highest value according to Mergermarket’s record in 2014. This is spurred by low borrowing interest rates & a private equity sector keen to offload earlier investments as the global economy picked up pace post financial crisis.

  • Inbound investment into the region increased for the second consecutive year partly due to cheaper valuations which at 16.6x, EBITDA multiples remained much lower than the previous 10 years’ average of 18.9x.
  • China led the region with M&A volume at USD 307.4 Bn, in large part due to activity involving Chinese SOEs engaging in internal restructuring activity & increasingly driven to pursue acquisitions on a global scale.
  • A shift in sectors of outbound targets from Energy, Mining & Utilities sector to Technology, Leisure & Transportation

Source: Mergermarket, Dealogic, GCF R&A



EDELWEISS ARC (IND) picks up 10.5% stake in multi-fruits processing firm TRICOM FRUITS (IND)

Pune-based TRICOM FRUITS has received board approval to raise USD 324 K from EDELWEISS ARC, a subsidiary of EDELWEISS FINANCIAL SERVICES.
TRICOM FRUITS is engaged in processing of fruits like mangoes, pomegranates, guavas, papayas, tomatoes, bananas, gooseberries in the form of puree concentrate & frozen clear juice concentrate.

9 January / VC Circle

L CAPITAL ASIA invests in gourmet date maker BATEEL (SAU)

Saudi Arabian-based BATEEL, which makes chocolate-covered dates & other delicacies has agreed a partnership with L CAPITAL ASIA, marking the PE firm’s first investment in
the Middle East. The details of the deals have not been disclosed but it is reported that BATEEL was selling a stake between 20% & 40%.

28 January / Reuters


LAVAZZA (ITA) bids for two French coffee brands

Italy’s LAVAZZA, the world’s No. 7 coffee maker, has made a binding offer exceeding EUR 600 M as it seeks to bolster revenues outside its domestic market.
The two brands, L’OR & GRAND MERE, were put up for sale to ease a merger of MONDELEZ INTERNATIONAL’s coffee business with D.E. MASTER BLENDER 1753.
LAVAZZA wants to raise its non-Italian revenues to 70% from 46% currently, having more than EUR 400 M cash at 2014.

EV/EBITDA: ~8.6x

8 January / Reuters



Beauty products e-tailer PURPLLE.COM (IND) raises Series A funding from IVYCAP

PURPLLE.COM, a beauty & grooming e-commerce platform in India has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding from Mumbai-based IVYCAP VENTURES.
The funding is primarily for growing its marketing efforts & fulfilment capacity. The company wants to expand beyond e-commerce to salon listings, discovery & related rich content & intelligent features. Existing investor BLUME VENTURES also participated in this round.

7 January / e27


APOLLO HOSPITALS (IND) acquires NOVA MEDICAL’s (IND) surgical unit for USD 24 M

APOLLO HOSPITALS, the country’s top hospital firm, has acquired NOVA SPECIALTY HOSPITALS, the short-stay surgical centres unit of NOVA MEDICAL CENTERS, for around USD 24 M. It is expected to generate revenues of around USD 20.7 M for the year ending March 2015.
This acquisition will help APOLLO in its growth strategy of providing a larger footprint, including in some markets where the company has no presence currently.

Est. EV: USD 24 M
EV/Sales: 1.2x

6 January / VC Circle


JACK MA & other investors to invest USD 1.6 Bn drug maker BAIYUNSHAN (CHN)

ALIBABA GROUP founder Jack MA & other investors will pump up to USD 1.6 Bn into Chinese drug maker BAIYUNSHAN to help fuel its online expansion.
YUNFENG CAPITAL, an investment vehicle co-founded by MA, will invest USD 80 M via a private placement. CHINA LIFE INSURANCE will invest around USD 400 M.
BAIYUNSHAN, which had sales of USD 2.8 Bn in 2013, is best known for a treatment known as “GOLDEN SPEAR”, a Viagra rival, & its hugely popular WANGLAOJI herbal tea beverage.

Est. EV: USD 5.5 Bn
Est. EV/Sales: 1.9x

13 January / Reuters


Engineering & Construction

CRH (UK) to buy LAFARGE (FRA) & HOLCIM (SWI) assets for EUR 6.5 Bn

Irish building supplies group CRH had agreed to pay EUR 6.5 Bn for assets LAFARGE & HOLCIM were obliged to sell ahead of their planned merger.
CRH, already the US leading producer of asphalt for highway construction, was seen as the front runner having put forward the highest offer. The BLACKSTONE consortium, which also includes CINVEN & Canadian pension fund CPP, bid EUR 5.5 Bn.

30 January / VC Circle

Testing & Inspection

BUREAU VERITAS made 3 acquisitions in China this month in Industrial, Testing & Infrastructures services

06/01 acquired 70% of SHANDONG CHENGXIN Engineering Consulting & Supervision (Rev. 2014 = EUR 40 M), specialized in support services in the construction of industrial infrastructure for the energy sector.
12/01: acquired 70 % of NINGBO HENGXIN Engineering Testing (Rev. 2014 = EUR 16 M, specialized in non-destructive inspection & metallurgical testing
29/01: acquired CTS (Rev. 2014 = EUR 3 M), a Chinese company specialized in testing toys, electrical & electronic products and consumer durables.
The deals amounts were not disclosed.

29 January / Reuters, Company press release

Water Treatment

CHINA EVERBRIGHT WATER (CHN) places out 120.7 million new shares at SGD 94 cents

Mainboard-listed CHINA EVERBRIGHT WATER is placing out 120.7 million new shares at SGD 0.94 cents each to raise SGD 113.4 M for growth & expansion purposes.
It has entered into agreements with INTERNATIONAL FINANCE CORPORATION (IFC) & DALVEY ASSET HOLDING (DAH) who will subscribe to the new shares.
The company, which debuted on the SGX last month, is 78% owned by HK-listed CHINA EVERBRIGHT INTERNATIONAL.

20 January / Straits Times

Renewable Energy

GREEN BIOLOGICS (UK) raises USD 76 M to make renewable chemicals

GREEN BIOLOGICS, a company that makes chemicals from agricultural waste & sugar cane, raised USD 76 M to expand production.
They are receiving USD 42 M in equity, led by SWIRE PACIFIC & SOFINNOVA PARTNERS & USD 34 M in debt financing led by TENNENBAUM.
GREEN BIOLOGICS uses feed stocks including corn waste & sugar cane to produce chemicals used in consumer products & biofuels. The company produced ~300 tons of butanol last year in China with a partner.

21 January / Bloomberg

SUZLON (IND) to sell German unit to CENTERBRIDGE (USA) for EUR 1 Bn

Asia’s 2nd biggest wind-turbine maker, SUZLON ENERGY has agreed to sell its German unit to CENTERBRIDGE PARTNERS for EUR 1 Bn in cash as it reorganises debt. The agreement includes an earn-out clause of EUR 50 M, conditional on the performance of the business.
The German business reported EBITDA of EUR 146 M in the last financial year, up 22%
y-o-y, though revenues dropped 19% to EUR 1.8 Bn.

EV: EUR 1 Bn
EV/Sales: 0.6x

22 January / Bloomberg, Financial Times


Payment Solutions

ROCKET INTERNET (GER) & PLDT (PHI) join forces in e-payments venture

Ecommerce giant ROCKET INTERNET & Telco PLDT announced an agreement to form a 50-50 JV for online & mobile payment solutions with a focus on emerging markets.
This follows PLDT’s investment of USD 445 M into ROCKET INTERNET’s incubator.
The JV will target ROCKET INTERNET’s ecommerce operations in Southeast Asia where it operates ZALORA & LAZADA.

7 January / Tech in Asia

CREDIT SAISON (JPN) invests in e-wallet MatchMovePay (SGP)

M-payments provider MatchMovePay announced a “significant” undisclosed investment round led by Japanese credit card company CREDIT SAISON, joined by GMO VENTURE PARTNERS.

7 January / Tech in Asia


SNAPDEAL (IND) buys stake in product comparison site SMARTPRIX.COM (IND)

Delhi-based JASPER INFOTECH, which runs e-commerce marketplace SNAPDEAL, has quietly picked up a stake in online product & price comparison site SMARTPRIX.
This comes as another strategic move for SNAPDEAL in acquiring or getting an exposure to third-party e-commerce enabling ventures over the last year. It had recently acquired gifting recommendation venture WISHPICKER besides snapping fashion products discovery platform DOOZTON.

5 January / VC Circle

Social Media

Instant messaging app LOOKUP (IND) raises USD 116 K from DeNA (JPN)

Bangalore-based messaging app for local businesses LOOKUP has raised USD 116 Kfrom Japan’s leading social games company DeNA, as well as from Teruhide SATO, thefounder of BEENOS group.
With previous round of founding from tech billionaire Kris GOPALAKRISHNAN (co-founder of INFOSYS) & from MKS SWITZERLAND, the startup has raised a total of USD 382 K.

5 January / Tech in Asia


Furniture & Accessories

Chinese handset maker XIAOMI invests USD 200 M in home appliances maker

Chinese smartphone manufacturer XIAOMI, has invested USD 200 M in MIDEA GROUP, an electrical appliance manufacturer in China, for a 1.3% stake in the firm. The deal will allow both companies to cooperate in smart home initiatives & electronic products.
MIDEA is a manufacturer of consumer appliances & air conditioning systems. It has operations in Vietnam, Belarus, Egypt, Brazil & Argentina, besides India. MIDEA claims to have generated USD 18.7 Bn in turnover in 2013.

Est. EV: USD 20.1 Bn
Est. EV/Sales: 1.1x

15 December / VC Circle

French accessible art photography distributor YELLOW KORNER raises EUR 15 M with LATOUR CAPITAL

The company has previously raised EUR 10 M in several rounds from A PLUS FINANCE, UFG-SIPAREX, 360° CAPITAL PARTNER, Louis-Christophe LAURENT & PriceMinister’s co-founder Pierre KOSCIUSKO-MORIZET and AUDACIA.
Est. EV: EUR 50-60 M
Est. EV/Sales : 1.9x
Est. EV/EBITDA : 9.5x

22 January / CF News

Jewellery & Timepieces

PATEK PHILIPPE (SWI) plans to invest USD 440 M in its Geneva factory

Family-owned watchmaker PATEK PHILIPPE plans to invest USD 440 M in its factory in Plan-Les-Ouates, less than a year after it announced it may need to leave Geneva.
The investment will be used to construct a new building at the site to meet training needs, intensify research in watchmaking techniques & restore older timepieces.

14 January / Business Of Fashion


Food delivery service ELE.ME (CHN) raises USD 350 M from TENCENT (CHN) & SEQUOIA CAPITAL

ELE.ME, a food delivery service based in Shanghai has raised USD 350 M in series E funding from CITIC, TENCENT, JD, DIANPING & SEQUOIA CAPITAL.
The company which serves 250 cities, with 200,000 restaurants & 20 million users on its platform, claims that in 2014 its total order volume reached USD 17.9 M, with 75% of orders made through its mobile apps.

27 January / TechCrunch


MARQUEE BRANDS (part of Neuberger Berman) will acquire Italian shoemaker BRUNO MAGLI in a EUR 28.5 M deal

Bruno Magli an Italian luxury cobbler, in business since 1936, is set to be acquired for EUR 28.5 M (USD 34 M) by ARQUEE BRANDS, part of Neuberger Berman, a private equity firm. The shoemaker has applied for insolvency in Italy and has been in debt for years.

EV/Sales: 0.8x

11 January / NYT DealBook

SEQUOIA Capital invested USD 8 M in Indian fashion brand GO COLORS for 30% stake

SEQUOIA has acquired ~30% stake in Indian fashion company GO COLORS for ~USD 8 M. The Chennai-based company has been looking to raise funds for the past 6 months to expand its 38 stores / kiosks network. It has a presence in the ready-to-wear segment through MERIDIAN APPAREL & will continue to focus on womenswear.
This specific market has been on the radar of investors over the past 12-18 months & SEQUOIA has made several bets on women-focused apparel brands.

28 January / Economic Times of India


L CAPITAL ASIA (SGP) invests in China outlet malls

L CAPITAL ASIA is to invest USD 100 M for a cornerstone stake in China’s upmarket mall operator, SASSEUR. Existing investor, US PE firm WARBURG PINCUS also participated.
SASSEUR which owns four outlet malls, represents the fund’s second biggest investment in China to date. SASSEUR plans to open another four malls this year & eventually expand the chain to 20.

23 January / Insider Retail, China Business Blog

Wine & Spirit

Founder leads NOMACORC (ITA) buyout

NOMACORC’s fonder, Marc NOEL has partnered with Boston-based BESPOKE CAPITAL to recapitalise the business to buy out the group’s previous majority owner, SUMMIT PARTNERS, in a deal estimated to be worth USD 200 M.
Founder of the world’s largest producer of synthetic corks, NOMACORC, may pursue acquisitions after joining with BESPOKE CAPITAL to become 100% owners of the wine closure firm.
NOMACORC has an estimated 13% share of the global wine closure market. It constitutes 70% of the synthetic corks market.

12 January / Decanter

First acquisition of a vineyard in Languedoc by Chinese investors

After 1 year of negotiations, Chinese company HBC INTERNATIONAL WINE ASSETS MANAGEMENT has acquired the wine domaine CHATEAU DE LA BASTIDE, in Escales for an undisclosed amount (estimated to be ~EUR 6 M). This transaction is the 1st ever acquisition by Chinese investors in the Languedoc region.
The domaine of 200 Ha produces between 300,000 & 400,000 bottles per year, which are almost all exported.
The Chinese investors plan to develop a wine tourism activity with LA BASTIDE by opening a high-end hotel & restaurant.

23 January / La Depeche, Decanter