PEI Awards 2015 Asia: top honours

Baring Private Equity Asia, Navis Capital and Singapore’s Government Investment Corporation are among the big winners in PEI Awards 2015 Asia-Pacific categories.

More than 6,800 votes were cast by industry insiders for the Private Equity International Awards 2015. In Asia, leading the way this year were Baring Private Equity Asia and Navis Capital Partners, for Large-cap Firm of the Year and Mid-Market Firm of the Year.

The trophies were well deserved. Hong Kong-headquartered Baring closed its largest-ever vehicle on its $3.98 billion hard-cap after less than a year in market – hefty by anyone’s measure and one of the biggest funds raised by an Asian-based firm. It also scored major deals with Luxembourg-based asset manager Vistra Group and global fund administrator Orangefield Group.

Navis Capital kicked off 2015 in fine form after reaching its $1.5 billion target on its seventh Asian fund, which seeks majority stakes in southeast Asian companies. In a nod to investor needs, the final close included the addition of a shariah-compliant parallel vehicle. It took a majority stake in Dometic Medical Division as part of a management buyout deal, sold Singapore’s largest hazardous waste management company, ECO Industrial Environmental Engineering, to China’s Beijing Capital Group for S$246 million ($176 million; €157 million), and acquired Singapore’s Imperial Treasure Restaurant Group for around S$60 million-S$80 million.

Aberdeen Asset Management stands out for winning two Asia-Pac categories: Firm of the Year in Southeast Asia and Fund of Funds manager of the year. Aberdeen has consolidated its position as an exceptional player in the regional market with its acquisition of FLAG Squadron Asia and SVG’s Asia businesses.

PEI’s limited partner winner in Asia is equally impressive. For the second year in a row, Singapore’s Government Investment Corporation (GIC) landed the top spot, beating Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund. GIC has more than 100 active fund relationships with about 9 percent of its $345 billion aggregate assets under management invested in private equity.

Another Singapore winner, Temasek Holdings, claimed the prize for Co-Investor of the Year in Asia. Temasek joined the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and MBK Partners in one of Asia’s largest ever private equity deals – the $6.1 billion takeover of Tesco’s South Korea unit Homeplus – and took part in the $2 billion funding round for Chinese Uber competitor Didi Kuaidi.

The sale of GE Capital’s Australia and New Zealand consumer lending arm to global investor Värde Partners, KKR and Deutsche Bank for about A$8.2 billion ($6.3 billion; €6 billion) was a popular choice with the industry as Deal of the Year in Asia. Meanwhile, the initial public offering of Hong Kong Broadband Network on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange after just three years in private equity hands was chosen as exit of the year.

Among the other groups honoured by the thousands who voted for this year’s awards are Pacific Equity Partners for Australia’s Firm of the Year title, J-STAR for Firm of the Year in Japan, KKR for China, MBK Partners for Korea, Everstone Capital Partners for India and Dragon Capital for Frontier Market Firm of the Year in Asia. J-STAR and Everstone are consecutive repeat winners, having had a busy year with numerous acquisitions across the region.

Click HERE to read our full coverage, which details which fund managers, investors, advisors and transactions; click HERE to read the list of Americas winners; click HERE to read the list of winners in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and HERE to view all winners in Asia.