Navis Capital scores back-to-back deals

The Malaysian private equity firm has invested in French luxury furniture brand Christian Liaigre and leather manufacturer ISA Industrial.

Kuala Lumpur-based Navis Capital Partners has acquired French luxury furniture and lifestyle brand Christian Liaigre Group for an undisclosed sum, the firm said in a statement. Its investment was made alongside London-listed strategic investment company Symphony and Thai home furnishings retailer Chanintr Living.

In the same month, Navis had also invested in Mississippi-headquartered leather manufacturer ISA Industrial, which provides leather to footwear brands such as Timberland, Wolverine, Clarks, Rockport and Ugg.

Both investments came from its latest buyout vehicle, Navis Asia Fund VII, a 2013-vintage vehicle that held a final close on $1.5 billion in 2015 above its $1.3 billion target. Fund VII is about 65 percent invested, a spokesperson from Navis told Private Equity International.

Navis’s investments will be used to accelerate growth for both companies. The Christian Liaigre Group plans to develop showrooms and design activities in key Asian cities including Hong Kong, Taipei, Shanghai and Seoul. Meanwhile, ISA Industrial plans to make strategic acquisitions in Asia, as well as to penetrate the military and “Made in USA” markers in North America.

Navis’s limited partners include the Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System, California State Teachers’ Retirement System, CDC Group, Adams Street Partners and RWB Private Capital Fonds, according to PEI Research & Analytics.

Its sixth fund, Navis Asia Fund VI, a 2009-vintage vehicle that closed on $1.2 billion, is in divestment mode. It is exploring the sale of its Australian automotives business WorldMark in which it bought an 83.1 percent stake in 2010 for more than A$100 million ($74 million, €65 million).

It is also in the preliminary stages of raising capital for its Malaysian Growth Opportunities Fund II, which is targeting MYR 750 million ($182 million; €164 million), as reported by PEI.

The South-East Asia focused firm manages about $5 billion of assets. It has made about 70 investments, half of which have been exited.