Singapore’s GIC emerges as most active Asian PE investor in Q1

Photo: Reuters

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC completed at least 11 private equity deals in the first quarter of this year, making the $344-billion fund the most active Asian PE investor during the period.

GIC joined other investors in sealing two of the biggest investments of the quarter, according to a PitchBook report. It participated in the $5.5-billion buyout of Denmark’s Nets A/S by partnering with private equity firm Hellman & Friedman, and in the $2.5-billion investment in FirstEnergy in January.

The Singapore fund ranked 18th among the most active investors by PE deal count in the first quarter, a pack led by Genstar Capital, HarbourVest Partners, Providence Equity Partners, Business Growth Fund, and Warburg Pincus.

For its report, PitchBook only considered deals that are completed and not the ones announced during the quarter. Private equity deals include buyouts and growth/expansion deals, excluding real estate investments.

Including real estate and other investments, GIC participated in a total of 21 completed deals in the first quarter, according to PitchBook. GIC’s top 10 investments, including both PE and non-PE deals, in the first quarter were worth over $12 billion.

The most notable of these was in February when GIC took part in the $1.5-billion funding round of Indonesian ride-hailing giant Go-Jek, giving the startup a $5-billion valuation. The Go-Jek investment was the third largest deal involving GIC in the quarter.

The Singapore fund also joined in the $818-million Series C round of financing in Beijing-based online car trading platform Chehaoduo in March. The fundraising was led by Tencent Holdings.

GIC also partnered with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in January to acquire a portfolio of three apartment buildings in the US for $550 million.

Another deal that GIC joined in the first quarter of this year was the $535-million Series D in food delivery firm DoorDash, the largest financing raised to date by a US restaurant delivery app.

The investment gives GIC a seat in DoorDash’s board of directors and values the startup at $1.5 billion.

Peer-to-peer platform Dianrong also raised $290 million in a funding round backed by GIC in January. The Singapore fund first invested in Dianrong’s $220-million round in August of last year.

In the health sector, GIC participated in the $117.4 million combined Series D and Series E financing round in Chinese pharmaceutical firm Hua Medicine. GIC joined a group of new investors, including Blue Pool Capital, Ping An Ventures, and Mirae Asset Financial Group in the round.

It also invested in the $140-million funding round of Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd, the maker of the portable real-time DNA/RNA sequencer MinION, joining China Construction Bank International, Australia’s Hostplus, and Oxford Nanopore’s existing investors.

Other investments that GIC participated in the first quarter, according to PitchBook data, were investments in Exilant Technologies, VeriCite, Valley Pool & Spa, OptiWay (Geographic IT), Nine Manufactured Communities, Monde Nissin, Mobiliya, GKN Group (GKN), Faculdade da Serra Gaucha, Exhibitions International, City Green Sport and Health Club, and China Lianhe Credit Rating.

Aside from the deals mentioned by PitchBook, GIC was also involved in several other deals in the quarter.

In addition to these completed deals, GIC made a string of new deal announcements in the first quarter. It joined the $12.6-billion acquisition of Akzo Nobel‘s specialty chemicals business, a $1.9-billion deal to acquire a 75 per cent stake in Allfunds Bank of Spain, and the $1.04-billion acquisition of 60 Wall Street, the headquarters of Deutsche Bank in the US.

DEALSTREETASIA reported in February that GIC joined a consortium led by CVC Capital Partners in a bid for South Korean security services major ADT Caps, in a deal estimated to be in the region of $2.76 billion.

It also backed the $1.75-billion fundraising of India’s largest mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp in January and partnered with United Students in acquiring Birmingham-based student housing provider Aston Student Village for $283 million in February.

Also in March, GIC entered into a $291.72-million joint venture with CCLA to develop and operate purpose-built, for-rent multi-family buildings in Mexico.

Also Read:

Emerging markets saw record PE deals worth $49b in 2017: EMPEA

GIC-backed venture to acquire, develop office assets in Los Angeles

SE Asia records PE deals worth $7.8b last year, uptick to continue in 2017: EY

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.