ECAF makes first bet, puts $95m in eyecare specialist DORC

Paris, France. Photo by JOHN TOWNER on Unsplash

The Eurazeo China Acceleration Fund (ECAF) – a France-China fund jointly launched by Eurazeo, China Investment Corporation (CIC) and BNP Paribas – has made its first bet by pouring 80 million euros ($95 million) into vitreoretinal surgery specialist Dutch Ophthalmic Research Centre (DORC).

This is the first transaction made by the vehicle, which is managed by Eurazeo, a global investment firm with a diversified portfolio of 18.8 billion euros ($22.4 billion) in assets under management (AUM), said Eurazeo in a recent statement.

Also known as the “France-China Cooperation Fund,” the ECAF was created in 2019 when a letter of intent was signed in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.

The joint fund, backed by Chinese sovereign wealth fund CIC, targets to invest alongside Eurazeo in French and European companies active in sectors with high-growth potential in China, such as advanced industrials, business services, consumer goods and services, healthcare and digital technology.

Its maiden investment comes about two months after the ECAF reached the first closing at 400 million euros ($476 million) that were entirely underwritten by the three founding institutions, namely Eurazeo, CIC and French banking group BNP Paribas.

CIC will support portfolio companies’ foray into the Chinese market, while BNP Paribas will provide a range of contacts across France and the rest of Europe, according to a separate statement.

This syndication has no impact on the other funds managed by Eurazeo, and in particular, Eurazeo Capital IV, which is also an investor in DORC. Eurazeo provides 50 per cent of ECAF’s commitments, so the positive impact of the new transaction on its cash position is 40 million euros ($47.5 million).

Established in 1983, DORC manufactures and distributes disposable and reusable instruments, liquids and machinery for ophthalmic surgery, specifically those used in vitreoretinal procedures. The company serves over 5,700 surgeons across 80 countries. It generated revenues of 135 million euros ($161 million) in 2019.

Following the investment from the ECAF, DORC will gain access to the network of local experts built up by CIC, BNP Paribas, and Eurazeo.

The company will be able to ramp up its expansion in China, where growth in the vitreoretinal surgery market is expected to be in the range of 15-20 per cent in coming years, according to the statement.

The fund already contributed to the creation of an advisory committee, composed of Chinese surgeons, which will assist DORC with its market entry and help with the development of an offer designed to meet specific local needs.

Singapore Reporter/s

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

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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.