AIF in S$65m crane distributor PIPE

Hong Kong-based AIF Capital is backing Singapore-listed Tat Hong Holdings’ regional expansion, which is particularly focused on growing in Australia and China.

Asia-focused private equity firm AIF Capital is investing S$65 million ($45 million; €32 million) for an 11.4 percent stake in Tat Hong Holdings, a crane distribution and leasing business.

The firm will acquire convertible redeemable preferred securities, each priced at S$1, issued by Tat Hong. Each of these securities can be converted into one ordinary share of the company. The investment is conditional on stock exchange and shareholder approvals.

Listed on Singapore’s stock exchange, Tat Hong is engaged in the distribution and leasing of cranes and other construction-related equipment for construction in the infrastructure, oil and gas, power and other industrial construction sectors in Australia, China and Southeast Asia.

Crawler cranes: AIF-backed

The company has a fleet of more than 600 mobile and crawler cranes and is Asia’s largest crane leasing company and the world’s seventh largest in terms of aggregate tonnage capacity, AIF said in a statement.

Tat Hong will primarily use the investment to expand its operations in Australia and China, both markets in which it already has a presence. The company foresees rapid growth in China as a result of increased government spending in infrastructure and the long-term trends towards equipment leasing, the statement noted.

The investment reflects AIF’s belief in Asia’s growth potential and is line with the firm’s pan-Asian focus on Southeast Asia, China and India, Peter Amour, chief executive of AIF Capital, said in a statement.

The investment was made from AIF Capital III, a $435 million private equity fund that closed in January 2007. The last investment from the fund was made in April 2009, when AIF acquired a stake in Oceanus Group, the largest abalone aquaculture company in China.

Established in 1994 and with offices in Beijing, Hong Kong and New Delhi, AIF Capital is focused on expansion capital, buyouts and recapitalisation. The firm manages assets worth more than $1.5 billion and has invested in 32 companies across nine Asian countries in sectors such as supply chain management, financial services, manufacturing, engineering services, power, telecom and transportation.

AIF Capital was not available for comment at press time.