Malaysia-headquartered private equity firm Creador has appointed Naveen Gupta as its senior advisor in Indonesia, following the departure of Stefanus Hadiwidjaja, who is slated to join the new sovereign wealth fund in the archipelago.
Hadiwidjaja served as Creador’s managing director in Indonesia.
Gupta, who officially took over the role on February 1, 2021, was earlier with Godrej Consumer Products – he helmed the group’s business in Indonesia between 2010 and 2017 as its president director. Thereafter, he has also served as the CEO of Godrej Africa, the Middle East and the US from 2017-2020.
Gupta will move to Indonesia from Dubai, where he is currently based, when travel is permitted, Creador founder and CEO Brahmal Vasuvedan told DealStreetAsia.
Hadiwidjaja took over as the chief investment officer of the Indonesia Investment Authority (INA) under the leadership of its CEO Ridha Dm Wirakusumah who earlier served as the president director at Bank Permata.
Four other executives joined the board of directors at the sovereign wealth fund, also called Lembaga Pengelola Investasi (LPI) locally. All the appointments were announced by President Joko Widodo on Tuesday this week.
“Hadiwidjaja will be taking a sabbatical for a few years to do some national service for the government…depending on when his role is finished, he will come back (to Creador),” Vasuvedan added.
Hadiwidjaja is not the only one to be associated with INA from Creador. The private equity firm’s Indonesia chairman Cyril Noerhadi was appointed as a member of INA’s advisory board last month. A senior industry executive, Noerhadi has retired and works part-time with Creador, Vasuvedan added.
Creador’s Indonesia team now includes Edwin Cheah Yew Hong (director) and Rhesa T Hanani (vice president), according to its website.
The PE firm has not been too active in Indonesia over the past few years – it made its last investment in the hospital chain Medikaloka Hermina in 2017.
Among its other investments in the country, Creador reportedly acquired Simba Indosnack Makmur from Godrej in 2013 for $35 million. The firm is currently scouting for opportunities to exit the cereal maker and is working with Maybank Kim Eng as its sell-side advisor.
Going forward, Creador is still open to making investments in the country, even as it is taking a cautious approach as return on investments (for PE investors in general) are not too high, said Vasuvedan.
Apart from Simba Indosnack Makmur, Creador is also looking to exit Indonesian lender Bank Index Selindo wherein it had invested $24 million in lieu of a 20% stake in 2015. Currently, it is in the process of selling its shares back to the company’s majority shareholder Setiawan family, as previously reported by DealStreetAsia.
Creador’s other portfolio companies in the country include retail business MR. D.I.Y Indonesia, and manufacturer of automobile, motorcycle and industrial batteries Nipress, among others.
Creador is planning to launch its fifth fund in March seeking to raise $650 million. The PE firm is targeting to achieve the first close of its fifth fund in July. The new fund will continue to focus on Southeast Asia and India.
Creador’s proposed vehicle is seeking to raise a bigger sum compared to its predecessor that collected around $565 million, exceeding its hard cap of $550 million, in July 2019.