PE firm Navis Capital acquires Malaysian durian company Hernan

Navis Capital's Nicholas Bloy at DEALSTREETASIA's Asia PE-VC Summit 2018 in Singapore.

Private equity firm Navis Capital Partners has completed the acquisition of Malaysia’s durian exporter Hernan Corporation, according to a media statement.

The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Following the transaction, Navis Capital plans to invest up to 400 million ringgit ($95.36 million) to support Hernan Corporation’s expansion plan. The PE firm said it will assist Hernan Corporation in growing its capacity to produce durian paste, puree and finished products such as mooncake, ice cream, chocolate as well as other durian flavoured confectionaries.

Furthermore, Navis will also look to acquire up to 10,000 acres for durian plantation, starting in Pahang state, Malaysia, in partnership with a local agriculture player.

Navis said its investment into Hernan was also encouraged by the fast-growing demand for durians in China as well as overseas Chinese communities around the world. In 2018, China spent around $1 billion on importing durian, and the number is expected to double by 2023. Malaysia, along with Thailand, is the main producer of durian.

In the future, Navis sees the substantial scope for the application of agri-tech, IoT and Industry 4.0 to modernise the entire value chain from durian farming to processing, according to co-founder and managing partner Nicholas Bloy. The PE firm will also look to adopt an open collaboration approach with other industry players to raise the standards of the industry.

Currently, Navis manages around $5 billion in private equity capital across investments in Asian countries. The firm is currently raising its eight vehicle, which has a $1.9 billion hard cap, we had previously reported. In March 2019, Navis received up to $200 million from US government’s development finance institution Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) for its latest fund.

Earlier this year, Navis invested in Vietnam’s private education platform Thanh Thanh Chong Education JSC as well as Thailand’s food processing company Srithai Daily Foods.