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H&Q Asia Pacific raises fund focused on Taiwan

The firm wants to accelerate the pace of its technology investing.

H&Q Asia Pacific (H&QAP) is currently raising a fund to invest primarily in Taiwan, H&Q Asia Pacific managing director Robert Shen told Private Equity International. He would not comment on the size or structure of the fund.

“We are raising various new funds, including one or more funds that will focus on helping Taiwan [companies] pursue cross-border and global deals, as well as galvanise the domestic economy,” said Shen, who is based in the firm’s Shanghai office.

Taiwan’s economy is slowing down as manufacturing goes to less expensive parts of the world and the country is now acquiring ways to innovate, said Shen.

“We want to accelerate venturing into technology,” he said, adding that H&QAP originated from Taiwan 30 years ago.

“Our Global Innovation Centre (GIC) project and our cross-border fund will both help Taiwan continue its history of innovation in the technology sector and move up the value chain as lower-end manufacturing and industrial activities naturally migrate to China and other lower-cost regions of the world,” said H&QAP chairman and founder, Ta-Lin Hsu.

The GIC is a technology park near San Francisco airport in which H&QAP has invested $100 million, as previously reported by PEI.

H&QAP looks for acquisitions primarily in the technology sector where it pursues cross border investments between Asia and the US.

The firm is the largest shareholder in Phiskin, a medical aesthetic chain based in Shanghai, which introduces medical expertise from Korea, Taiwan, the US and other markets as well as medical devices into China, Hsu explained. It has invested $10 million in the company.

H&QAP has invested $90 million in one of South Korea’s leading pharmaceutical companies, Ildong, and is exploring ways to expand the company’s core business into China, Hsu said.

Recently, H&QAP also made a $40 million follow-on investment in South Korea’s largest online job recruitment company JobKorea, which was founded by US’ Monster, to acquire the 51 percent of the company that it does not already own.

In total, it has invested about $90 million into JobKorea and is looking to expand it in Asia and globally, for which it has engaged a large international consultancy. In the meantime, H&QAP is “primarily focused on helping the company dominate the Korean market,” Hsu added.

H&QAP is the largest investor in One Inc, a US-based financial technology company targeting the insurance sector, where it invested a total of $11.8 million.

Most recently, the company raised an offshore fund worth $550 million, which is now being actively deployed, as previously reported.

South Korea’s National Pension Service (NPS) is a cornerstone investor in three of H&QAP’s offshore funds, said Hsu. The firm raised the first dedicated buyout fund in Korea and, according to a report, received $200 million anchor investment from NPS.