CLSA Capital backs Taiwanese PCB maker

CLSA Capital Partners has invested $20 million in Unitech Printed Circuit Board Corporation, a listed company, marking its first foray into Taiwan.

CLSA Capital Partners, the alternative asset management arm of investment bank CLSA Asia Pacific Markets, has invested $20 million (€14.6 million) for a 7 percent stake in Taiwan-listed Unitech Printed Circuit Board Corporation.

The investment in one of Taiwan’s largest mobile handset printed circuit board makers is the first foray into the country for ARIA Investment Partners III, CLSA Capital Partners’ pan-Asian private equity fund.

Unitech counts Motorola and Sony-Ericsson among its key customers for handset PCBs and global positioning system manufacturers such as Garmin and TomTom, according to a statement.

Taiwan has proven to be a popular destination for a number of Asia-focused private equity funds, judging by deal flow in the past six months. Although it is part of Greater China, buyout funds are able to access deals more easily here than on the mainland where regulatory approval can take some time.

Taiwanese manufacturing and financial sectors are especially popular targets for private equity funds. Oaktree Capital recently acquired Fu Sheng, maker of golf club heads, and The Carlyle Group has also been pursuing assets in Taiwan, with Ta Chong Bank being its most recent target. The latter remains subject to regulatory approval.

Josephine Price, deputy chief executive officer of CLSA Capital Partners said her fund’s first investment in Taiwan: “adds more geographical diversity to our existing portfolio. It serves as a springboard for future opportunities in Taiwan.”

The investment in Unitech brings the total capital deployed from the $330 million ARIA Investment Partners III fund to more than $120 million in the last 12 months.