CLSA invests in Chinese battery maker

The Hong Kong-headquartered private equity firm has invested $10 million in a battery manufacturer based in the southern China province of Fujian.

Hong Kong and Singapore-based CLSA Private Equity Management, the private equity arm of Asia Pacific brokerage and investment bank, CLSA Group, has announced a $10 million investment in mobile phone battery maker Great Speed Enterprises, a holding company of Scud (Fujian) Electronics.

The investment represents a minority stake in the privately-held Chinese firm of between 10 and 20 percent, Alvin Ho, CLSA Private Equity director, told PEO. “The exact percentage will depend on the business performance,” he said.

Fujian, Southern China-based Scud, one of the largest mobile phone battery manufacturers in China, has a retail distribution network with more than 200 wholesalers managing over 100,000 points of sale across mainland China. “The retail market for mobile phone replacement batteries in China is still underdeveloped,” said Ho.

Ho added that the investment in Scud is consistent with the firm’s criteria for investing in traditional businesses in the manufacturing, retail and service-oriented sectors across Asia.

The investment was made from CLSA Private Equity’s $100-million ARIA II fund, which is approximately 70 percent invested since closing three years ago, Ho said. CLSA manages $175 million through two funds, and is poised to raise a new fund in the near term, added Ho.
Last year, ARIA II invested $14.5 million in the expansion of India’s Apar Industries, a provider of products and services in power transmission conductors, specialty oils and synthetic rubbers.