Actis leads Chinese investment

Chinese silicon manufacturer Shunda has raised $82 million in private equity financing – $40 million of which is from emerging markets private equity investor Actis.

Actis, a UK emerging markets private equity firm, has led an $82 million financing round in Chinese silicon manufacturer Shunda. The firm itself invested $40 million while Chinese institutions Jolmo and Waichun contributed the remainder.

Beijing-based Shunda: The silicon manufacturer has been acquired by Actis.

Actis’ investment comes out of its China Fund II, which closed in 2006 on $250 million. The fund is managed by Benjamin Cheng, who leads Actis’ 11-strong China team in Beijing.

Founded in 2003, Shunda is a supplier of Suntech, one of Actis’ portfolio companies and China’s biggest solar cell manufacturer.

Actis’ other Chinese investments include its $40 million investment in drinks manufacturer Taizinai. The investment was part of a bigger $73 million financing round with contributions from investment banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

The firm recently completed the biggest Caribbean buyout to date when it bought general retailer Courts through its portfolio company Regal Forest for $370 million.

Founded in 2004 as a spin-out from UK government-backed fund of funds CDC, Actis has $3.3 billion under management.