Actis China partner to retire

Benjamin Cheng, who focuses on the firm’s investment in China’s consumer sector, will leave after one last exit, according to reports.

Benjamin Cheng, a China-based partner at London-headquartered private equity firm Actis, is to retire from the firm, an industry source confirmed to PEI Asia.

“I have decided to take a break from work and will retire from Actis. Before fully disengaging, I will help finish one exit for Actis,” Cheng was quoted by Reuters as saying in a personal email sent to friends Thursday.

No further details of the timing of his departure are known. The firm could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press and it is not known if Cheng will be replaced.

Cheng joined Actis in 2003 and worked on Actis’ investments in China’s consumer sector with Lim Meng Ann, partner and regional head of China and Southeast Asia for the firm. 

Cheng was involved in a total of nine deals, including Suntech Power, which was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2007, China Grentech, which was listed on NASDAQ in 2007, and Shunda Holdings, which exited through a trade sale in May 2008.

Last week, Actis agreed to exit its 30 percent stake in Chinese printed paper packaging manufacturer Inpac International to European trade buyer Stora Enso, which is buying 51 percent of Inpac at an “enterprise value of about €82 million”.

Actis opened its Beijing office in 2000 and has a total of 14 investment professionals in the country. While the firm invests across the sectors of consumer, business services, financial services and industrials globally, it has a particular focus on consumer investments in China since 2007.

In November 2008, Actis closed its third global fund on $2.9 billion, more than double the size of its predecessor, which closed on $1.4 billion in 2004.