Capital International seals SE Asia deal

The London-based emerging markets firm has invested about $60m in Philippine media conglomerate ABS-CBN.

Capital International has invested PHP2.5 billion (€47.1 million; $60.1 million) in Philippine media conglomerate ABS-CBN as part of a PHP4 billion fundraising round by the company, according to a Philippine Stock Exchange disclosure. 

The emerging markets investor subscribed to about $60 million-worth of Philippine Deposit Receipts, which allow foreign investors to invest in businesses within the media sector, in which foreign ownership is fully-restricted by Filipino law.

Lopez Incorporated, a private entity owned by the Lopez family, acquired the remaining PHP1.5 billion-worth of shares. 

The funds raised by ABS-CBN, one of the oldest television networks in the Philippines, will be used to expand the media platforms it offers, including digital terrestrial television, according to the disclosure. 

“We are glad to have earned the support of our controlling shareholder and one of the world’s largest investment management and private equity firms in our pursuit to deliver enhanced value to all of ABS-CBN’s stakeholders,” ABS-CBN chairman Eugenio Lopez said in a statement. 

Capital International is one of the few private equity 
firms to seal a deal in the Philippines

No one at Capital International was available for comment at press time. 

Few private equity firms have had success in the Philippines. CVC Asia Pacific is one of them, having closed two deals there, including its February investment in an undisclosed stake in business process outsourcing firm SPi Holdings. The firm had also taken an 11 percent stake in Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation in May 2011 for $115 million, Private Equity International reported earlier. 

In May 2012, Capital International closed its sixth emerging markets vehicle on its $3 billion hard cap, beating the $2.5 billion target, according to the firm. SDCERA, the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund and the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System were among the LPs in the fund, which has no set geographic or sector allocation.

The firm's other recent activity in Asia included the sale of Manipal Education and Medical Group in India. Capital International acquired a 12 percent stake for $70 million with IDFC Private Equity in 2006, with the promoters buying back the stake in April 2013 for $260 million, local media reported earlier. 

Capital International Private Equity Funds is the London-based private equity arm of asset manager Capital Group International. The private equity team has 24 investment professionals and $37 billion in assets under management, according to PEI’s Research & Analytics division.