NPEA loses Wang, plots China push

Kevin Wang, a China-focused GP at the Asian Natixis affiliate, will leave to launch his own firm. NPEA, meanwhile, aims to increase its Chinese private equity activities and will open a Beijing office this year.

Kevin Wang leave Natixis Private Equity Asia, a subsidiary of the Natixis Private Equity group, to launch his own private equity firm.

Effective 27 February, the split is amicable and Wang will continue to work with NPEA on specific investment opportunties, the firm said in a statement.

Wang joined NPEA in mid-2002 to develop the firm's foray into Chinese private equity. He led investments in Chinese companies such as Suntech Power, a NYSE-listed solar energy company, and LDK, a solar wafer manufacturer. 

Founded in 1999 by its president Gaël de Barmon, NPEA has invested a total of $135 million in 34 companies including nine in China. Having exited 30 of the investments prior to the start of the financial crisis, NPEA said it is now in a favourable position to benefit from opportunities generated by the current downturn.

“To tap such opportunities Natixis Private Equity intends to reinforce its private equity team in China and to increase its funds allocation to its China private equity activity,” NPEA said in a statement. It said it is actively pursuing deals and will augment its seven-person team located in Shanghai and Hong Kong. The firm said it will also open a Beijing office this year.

While the firm has invested in North Asia since 1999, it later shifted its focus to be China-centric. It tends to invest between $10 million and $30 million in Chinese companies with annual profits exceeding $5 million, whose annual profit growth rates are in excess of 30 percent.

De Barmon declined to comment.

Owned by French bank Natixis, Natixis Private Equity has 18 global teams that have collectively done nearly 650 deals, investing more than €3 billion in SMEs.