Japanese PE Advantage Partners buys Malaysian metal solution provider EKO

Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Jezael Melgoza on Unsplash

Japan-based Advantage Partners has acquired Malaysian metal solution provider specialising in aluminium and zinc die casting EKO Grp Industries Sdn Bhd through its Asia fund and affiliated entities, it said in an announcement on Tuesday.

Financial details of the transaction, which closed in December, remain undisclosed.

Based in Penang and founded in 2005, EKO manufactures metal components for multinational corporations in diversified product categories such as communication, security and medical. It currently operates out of two plants in Penang with planned expansion into a new facility under construction in Kedah, Malaysia.

Post acquisition, the investors will work closely with EKO management to accelerate the company’s growth through the upgrading of its corporate structure and resources.

This is the second Malaysian deal for Advantage Partners since it closed its maiden Asia fund at $380 million in May 2018. A month after the closing of fund, the firm acquired a Malaysian manufacturer of plastic bottles and containers – Plastic Centre Sdn Bhd.

The fund has also invested in Beijing-based operator of Korean restaurants Zheng Yi Wei, Taiwanese manufacturer of eggs and egg-related products and a Chinese education servies provider.

The fund targets small to mid-cap investments in companies outside Japan that have an opportunity for Japan-linked value creation. The investor base of the fund includes leading Japanese corporations, banks, family offices, global funds of funds and pension funds.

Since the establishment in 1992, Advantage Partners has invested in about 50 companies and has been a pioneer in Japan’s private equity market, having formed Japan’s first buyout fund in 1997.

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