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.