SKion GmbH, an investment company of German entrepreneur Susanne Klatten, has made an investment in Singapore-based MattenPlant Pte. Ltd., an industrial process water specialist and system integrator with subsidiaries in Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. Financial terms of the deal are undisclosed.
Klatten is also an anchor shareholder of BMW. To date, SKion has invested into seven companies in the water sector – its main holdings being ALTANA, SGL Carbon, Nordex, AVISTA OIL, EnviroChemie, ELIQUO WATER GROUP and Paques.
The transaction between SKion and MattenPlant was facilitated by ZIDO Capital, a strategic investment partner of SKion in the water and environmental sectors across Southeast Asia. Tze Hoe Chan, managing partner of ZIDO Capital, will also represent SKion on the board of MattenPlant.
The investment will see SKion – which has a portfolio of European water investments – become a shareholder in MattenPlant, with the intention to support further growth of MattenPlant’s business in Southeast Asia, Australia and other parts of Asia.
Based in Singapore, ZIDO Capital is an independent principal investment firm founded by Chan, a former investment executive of GIC and CAP Vista. ZIDO partners closely with reputable family business enterprises and investment organisations on private equity and credit opportunities across Asia, with a primary focus on the consumer and industrial sectors.
For MattenPlant, the investment by SKion will contribute to further growth of its business in the region, where they have more than 20 years of prior experience in. In addition, MattenPlant will benefit from the access to the technical expertise and product range of SKion’s portfolio companies in the water sector.
According to the EDB, the environment and water industry is a key growth industry for Singapore, with the government having committed S$470 million to the development of the water industry in the city-state since 2006. As of 2015, the value-added contribution to Singapore’s GDP is S$1.7 billion.
The city-state is said to be host to an estimated 180 water companies, representing the entire value chain of the water industry, spanning from upstream component players (e.g.membrane and pumps manufacturers), equipment OEMs, and system integrators, to downstream EPC players and project developers.
Commenting on the investment, Dr. Reinhard Hübner, investment manager of SKion GmbH, stated: “Southeast Asia has been a blank spot on our map in the water sector. Given the strong economic development in the region and the potential business opportunities arising from the many water challenges, we believe it is important for us to establish an active presence here.
“MattenPlant, in our view will be a great addition to SKion’s portfolio – we are impressed by the company’s strong reference base in supplying process water systems for the oil and gas, food and beverage sectors across Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam, as well as in executing O&M projects for water and wastewater treatment plants in Indonesia,” he added.
The deal will provide Skion a base in Singapore and further access to the Southeast Asian economies. Its proximity to Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam – all of which are seeing the emergence of a middle class – will enable the company to leverage on the growing demand for clean water.
According to a recent report in Water Online, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Singapore is only able to meet about 50 per cent of its 1.4 million cubic meters of daily water (369.8 MGD) demand with domestic resources
DS Chuan, CEO of MattenPlant, said, “Having established MattenPlant as a regional water specialist and system integrator for various premium applications across the food and beverage, oil and gas, mining, power plant and pharmaceutical sectors, my team and I are ready to fully capitalize on our capabilities and track records, and to take our business to the next level.”
Remarking that he saw SKion as a strategic partner, Chuan said the investment would permit “access to innovative, advanced water and environmental technologies, and provide strong financial resources,” enabling it to position itself in the mid-to-high end sectors in the long term.