Swedish alternative investment firm EQT has opened a new office in Sydney, Australia as part of its accelerated efforts in the Asia-Pacific region, with specific focus on Australia and New Zealand, the firm said in a statement.
EQT, which is considering raising a larger Asia Pacific fund in 2021 or 2022, said the Sydney office will seek to find thematic investment opportunities in the region with the support of the firm’s global platform and network. The team will be headed by Ken Wong, managing direct and head of EQT Australia & New Zealand.
“Australia and New Zealand has an abundance of investment opportunities in EQT’s core sectors, and we have already started to see that EQT’s differentiated approach to active, responsible and growth focused ownership resonate with management teams, founders and corporates,” Wong said.
Wong returns home to Sydney after leading EQT’s coverage efforts from Singapore.
The opening of the Sydney office comes six years after EQT made its first investment in Australia by acquiring I-MED Radiology Network, a diagnostic imaging service provider.
Its portfolio in Australia also includes Nexon Asia Pacific, a cloud and managed service provider. The firm also agreed to acquire 100 per cent of Metlifecare, one of the largest owners and operators of integrated retirement and aged care villages in New Zealand.
“Putting EQT’s flag on the ground in Sydney is part of our global expansion strategy and ambition to establish a local presence across the regions EQT invests in,” said Thomas von Koch, deputy managing partner and chairperson of Asia-Pacific at EQT.
Australia and New Zealand, von Koch added, are some of the “most interesting markets” in the Asia-Pacific region and one where EQT can make a positive impact on portfolio companies as well as local communities.
EQT Partners began investing in the Asia-Pacific region in 2006. Its Mid Market business line is active in Greater China, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam, having backed 14 companies via growth, control and co-control investments as of 30 June 2019.
In addition to mid-market deals, the investor said it saw an opportunity to leverage infrastructure as a springboard for further growth in the Asia Pacific. Since 2017, it has collaborated with Singapore state fund Temasek to make investments in the region’s infrastructure market.
Both Temasek and EQT have teamed up to launch a green energy platform in India, which aims to build and/or acquire wind and solar farms. The platfform will have an initial equity commitment of $500 million from the two sponsors as seed capital.
The joint venture comes two years after EQT Infrastructure and Temasek first announced their partnership to identify investment opportunities in Southeast Asia, India, Korea, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.