Private equity firms in Asia, excluding Japan, invested $37.3 billion in the region during the first half of 2014 – the most invested in any half since the $40.8 billion of capital injected in H1 2011, according to recent data by Mergermarket.
Figures also showed that Asia Pacific is representing an increasing share of global buyout activity – jumping to 21.2 percent during the first half of this year, compared to just 8.9 percent during the same period last year. This is the highest share seen since 2009.
Investments were spread equally over the first two quarters of the year, just the second time on record that Asia Pacific firms have invested double-digit values for two consecutive quarters. Each quarter saw over $18 billion invested in the region by private equity.
Asia Pacific has housed a number of large transactions during the first half of the year.
In March, The Carlyle Group sealed the $1.9 billion buyout of Korea’s Tyco Group – one of the country’s largest ever private equity deals, Private Equity International reported earlier.
Korea is increasingly an attractive market for overseas buyers, with MBK Partners this year completing its $1.7 billion carve-out of ING Korea, the South Korean unit of Netherlands insurance giant ING Group, agreed last August.
Korea’s total M&A value was 16.9 percent made up by European companies, with total investment from European companies targeting the highest value on record at $6.1 billion, according to Mergermarket data.
But the number was comprised largely of one deal – the $5.8 billion acquisition of Oriental Brewery by Europe’s AB InBev in January, buying the business from private equity houses Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Affinity Equity Partners. The deal represented a 5x exit for KKR.
Other large investments in Asia-based companies during H1 include Baring Private Equity Asia and Hony Capital’s $3 billion take-private of Chinese gaming company Giant Interactive, Yunfeng Capital’s $1.22 billion investment with Alibaba Group in China’s Youku Tudou and TPG, PAG and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan’s A$1.22 billion ($1.14 billion; €841 million) buyout of Australian property services company DTZ.