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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 October 2018

Bahrain's Investcorp makes debut investment in China of up to $250m

The move to the world's second-biggest economy is part of the firm's global growth strategy

Investcorp makes it debut investment in China. Courtesy Investcorp
Investcorp makes it debut investment in China. Courtesy Investcorp

Investcorp, the Bahrain-listed investment firm that counts Mubadala Investment Company as its biggest shareholder, is investing as much as $250 million (Dh918.1m) in the Chinese market, its first foray into the world's second biggest economy as it looks to expand its portfolio of investments globally.

Investcorp partnered with China Everbright, a sovereign-backed asset manager that is publicly listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, to invest up to $150m in the second round of the China Everbright Limited New Economy Fund, Investcorp said in a statement on Tuesday. The Bahraini alternative asset manager has also agreed to an additional co-investment right of up to $100m, it said.

In the first round, the fund received a total commitment of $313m which was invested in high-growth Chinese technology companies that operate in a wide range of market segments ranging from e-commerce and internet services, to smart retail and artificial intelligence, Investcorp said.

“Investcorp continues to execute its global expansion strategy in order to provide its clients, partners and stakeholders with access to a wider range of attractive investment opportunities worldwide,” Investcorp’s executive chairman, Mohammed Alardhi, said. “Today, China is a pivotal pillar of the global economy and a critical component of a balanced global asset allocation strategy.”

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Investcorp - in which Abu Dhabi’s investment firm Mubadala has a 20 per cent stake - has predominantly invested in Europe and the US. The investment in the new economy sector in China is in line with its global expansion strategy. Investcorp’s investment is “recognition” of the country’s consumer spending, being home to the world’s highest number of internet users and some of the fastest growing ‘unicorn’ technology companies valued at over $1 billion, it said.

The firm is on an acquisition spree to nearly double its assets under management to reach $50bn in the medium-term from $22.6bn at the end of June. Last year, the company acquired a $12bn AUM credit management business now known as Investcorp Credit Management.

Investcorp earlier this month acquired a minority stake in Swiss-regulated Banque Paris Bertrand Sturdza for an undisclosed sum. It also purchased its largest US warehouse portfolio to date, for approximately $300 million in a single transaction, the company said.

Since its inception in 1982, Investcorp has made over 170 corporate investments in the United States, Europe and the broader Middle East and North Africa region, including Turkey. The company has invested across a range of sectors including more than 450 commercial and residential real estate investments in the US, with transaction values exceeding $55bn.