CVC said to explore sale of Malaysia-based funeral group Nirvana Asia

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is exploring a potential option to sell Malaysia-based bereavement services provider Nirvana Asia due to strong inbound interest, DEALSTREETASIA has learnt.

According to an industry source, the deal could be in excess of $1.8 billion. The development was first reported by Wall Street Journal.

“There is a strong inbound interest in Nirvana Asia from several parties including infrastructure investors, sovereign wealth funds, and private equity firms. Hence, the firm is exploring the potential option to sell the company,” said the source.

CVC Capital declined to comment for this story.

The PE firm spent $1.1 billion on the Nirvana Asia buyout Asia and subsequently delisted the company from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2016. If the deal goes through, it would mark a quick exit for the private equity firm, whose typical investment holding period is about five years.

This February, US-based private equity firm Baird Capital made an investment in the form of an acquisition of an undisclosed indirect interest in Nirvana through a vehicle controlled by its founder and CEO Kong Hong Kong, one of Malaysia’s richest men.

Founded in 1990, Nirvana Asia is the largest funeral service provider in Asia. It operates cemeteries and columbaria that store urns, as well as funeral parlours in Malaysia, China, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and China. It also offers burial and funeral services and products, strategically targeting the premium segment of the death care services market.

DEALSTREETASIA had earlier reported that CVC Capital is looking to hit the first close of its fifth Asia fund with a target size between $4 billion and $5 billion by the first quarter of 2019. The firm is looking to deploy $1 billion every year from the fifth vehicle. Its predecessor, which raised $3.5 billion in May 2014, is believed to be more than 70 per cent deployed.

In total, CVC currently has over $70 billion of assets under management.

Through Fund IV, the firm recently acquired 100 per cent of Malaysian homegrown snack brand Munchy’s parent in June, providing a full exit to the company’s founders and investors, including state civil pension fund KWAP.

CVC Capital had earlier also confirmed its investment in Indonesia’s top snack maker PT GarudaFood Putra Putri Jaya. Also, one of its portfolio companies, QSR Brands (M) Holdings Sdn Bhd, which operates over 750 KFC outlets in Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, and Brunei, as well as over 450 Pizza Hut outlets in Malaysia and Singapore, will be listed on Bursa Malaysia by early next year.

Also read:

Exclusive: CVC Capital Partners to hit first close for fifth Asia fund by Q1 2019

CVC, Baird-backed bereavement firm Nirvana eyes expansion in Asia and beyond

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.