CDIB Capital in US pipe deal

The private equity unit of the Taiwan-based bank has acquired a stake in a US pipe company.

CDIB Capital, the private equity arm of the Taiwan-based China Development Industrial Bank, has taken a minority stake in US-based pipe distributor Smith-Cooper International for an undisclosed amount, according to CDIB Capital president and chief executive Lionel de Saint-Exupery.

US-based Blue Point Capital Partners also participated in the funding round.

Smith-Cooper sources all of its products – pipes, valves, and fittings – from Asia, primarily from China and Taiwan. Saint-Exupery told PE Asia that CDIB intends to make the company’s Asia sourcing more efficient.

“In order to compete on a global scale, a US company must leverage what China has to offer – such as low infrastructure costs and its integration with peripheral economies,” Saint-Exupery said. 

The investment was funded with an undisclosed distribution of debt and equity. The debt was provided by several global financial institutions, and the equity provision came from CDIB, he said.

Victor Gao, managing director and head of CDIB Capital’s Shanghai office, will sit on Smith-Cooper’s board to lead the China team. 

CDIB Capital began to operate as the private equity unit of China Development Industrial Bank, Taiwan’s first privately-chartered financial institution, in 2006. The firm has made 15 investments and currently has $1 billion assets under management. 

The firm had planned to launch a $350 million fund in the second half of this year, PE Asia reported earlier. Those plans have been revised and now the firm expects to launch a $500 million fund in 2013.