Partners Group buys China’s Aiyingshi

The firm’s acquisition of maternity and baby products retailer Aiyingshi will support value-enhancing initiatives and improve the company’s operational efficiency.

Swiss fund of funds manager Partners Group has acquired a minority stake in China-based retailer Aiyingshi from China New Enterprise Investment (CNEI) and two other existing shareholders.

The financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Shanghai-based Aiyingshi is one of China's leading retail chains in the maternity, baby and child sector, and has a strong presence in the affluent eastern provinces of Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangsu and Shanghai.

The company targets the mid-to-high end maternity market and sells a wide range of products, including baby formula, diapers, toiletries, toys, strollers, and baby clothes. Aiyingshi currently operates 159 stores across China and an e-commerce platform that serves more than one million member customers every year.

Partners Group will work closely with Aiyingshi’s management team, led by its founder and chief executive officer Shi Qiong, to improve the company's operational efficiency and sourcing capability, expand services in its existing stores, and drive forward Aiyingshi's international expansion plans, according to a statement.

Kelvin Yu, managing director and head of China at Partners Group said, “We are really looking forward to partnering with Aiyingshi's well-known and highly respected management team in the coming years to take the business forward. We've already started on several value creation initiatives, including the identification of potential acquisition targets outside China, which will result in a stronger company and enhanced service offering for the consumer.”

The firm’s other acquisitions this year include California-based power generation facility Sentinel, US dental services provider Affordable Care and franchisees US Taco Bell and Buffalo Wild Wings.

In July 2015, Partners Group executed a $1.5 billion education deal to acquire three children’s learning companies owned by Oregon-based Knowledge Universe (KUE), as reported by Private Equity International.

In May 2015, the firm held its first close on Partners Group Secondary 2015, a vehicle that launched in 2014 targeting $1.5 billion.