Permira hires telco veteran in China

The global private equity firm has hired the former head of Nokia in China to help source telecom deals in the region.

Private equity firm Permira has hired David Ho, the former president of Nokia in China, to advise the firm on investments in the Greater China region, the firm said in a statement.

Ho, whose appointment is effective as of November 1, is based in Beijing. The 51-year-old has since 2008 been the chairman of Kiina Group, an investment company backing internet and communications technology start-ups in Greater China. He previously spent 27 years in the telecoms industry in senior positions at the likes of Nortel Networks, Motorola – both in Asia – and Northern Telecom in Canada.

Permira has 12 offices worldwide and two Asian offices: Hong Kong, which opened in 2008, and Tokyo, which was established in 2005. Ho will work closely with the Hong Kong team led by Henry Chen, the firm said in a statement.

Permira has now agreed three investments in Asia accounting for around €1.5 billion in equity from Permira IV, the fund it raised in 2006.

The firm’s most recent Asian deal was a $200 million-plus, all-equity acquisition of a majority stake in global satellite operator Asian Broadcast Satellite (ABS). The deal marked an exit from the business for Citigroup Venture Capital International (CVCI).

Permira is the subject of November’s Privately Speaking interview in Private Equity International, in which co-heads Tom Lister and Kurt Björklund discuss the firm’s approach to Asia.