Thai Chearavanont family member, HK’s Best Magic Ventures acquire stake in Australian boutique investment firm Aura

Visual from Aura Group website.

A member of Thailand’s wealthy and powerful Chearavanonts family, that is behind the country’s Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group), with interests across realty, retail and telecom, has picked up a undisclosed minority stake in Australian financial services firm Aura Group, an executive with the company said.

Schwin Chiaravanont has picked up stake in Sydney-based boutique investment house that specialises in corporate advisory, wealth management and principal investments with offices across Australia and Singapore. The investment is in his personal capacity.

Chiaravanont’s great uncle Dhanin Chearavanont is among the top 100 in Forbes’ list of billionaires in 2015, with a net worth $13.6 billion.

The deal is routed through his family-owned investment vehicle, Thailand-based 2W Group Holdings, that Chiaravanont had founded.

The deal also involved Best Magic Ventures (BMV), the private investment vehicle for the Hong Kong-based Huang family, which has picked up an undisclosed minority stake in Aura Group.

The Huang family were the founders of Hong Kong-listed printing giant Beijing Enterprises Clean Energy Group Limited, formerly known as Jin Cai Holdings Company Limited, which currently has a market capitalisation of HKD$10 billion.

Incidentally, Thailand’s 2W Group is a branch of one of the largest family-owned business networks in Asia Pacific, and it focuses on venture capital and private equity investments in early stage companies and distressed assets across the region.

Best Magic Ventures, which targets venture capital and property development in Australia, has completed over $45 million worth developments in Sydney’s lower North Shore, and is currently developing over $70 million of new housing. The group is also conducting a due diligence to acquire two more sites equivalent to approximately $90 million of new housing.

Both 2W Group and Best Magic have been associated with Aura in the past, and have jointly done investments with the Australian firm, including in wearable analytics firm Catapult Group International Limited, South Korean small cell pioneer Juni Global, specialist lender Lannock Strata Finance and local online bespoke menswear retailer InStitchu.com.

Aura said, it will use the proceeds from this round for investment opportunities, and to fund its Asia expansion, while adding that it would also benefit from access to 2W Group and BMV’s networks,distribution channels, and other synergies throughout Asia-Pacific.

“The primary jurisdictions that Aura operates in, being Australia and Singapore, are also both very well regulated, stable, and provide exciting investment opportunities. Australia is further supported by recent favorable exchange rates and a shift away from a commodity/mining based economy to an era of innovation, supported by new government initiatives,” Chiaravanont said.

“After working closely together with both investors in the past it became apparent that a formal partnership made sense in light of our growth plans, particularly given our expansion into Asia,” Aura Group Managing Director Calvin Ng said.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.