SAIF pays $15m for transportation IT

SAIF Partners has acquired 2.59 million shares of China TransInfo, giving the Asia-focused VC firm a 13.2 percent stake.

Asia-focussed VC SAIF Partners has closed a $15 million (€9.5 million) private placement with Chinese transportation IT company China TransInfo. SAIF acquired 2.59 million shares of common stock at $5.80 per share, giving the firm a 13.2 percent stake.

China TransInfo will use the funds for “general working capital purposes, expansion of current business areas and possible acquisition opportunities”, according to a statement.

China TransInfo provides traffic information processing services through its subsidiary, Beijing PKU ChinaFront High Technology. China’s Peking University owns a 5 percent stake in the subsidiary. The company has a contract to create an Olympic Games traffic tracking system, among other projects. Last October, China TransInfo entered into a partnership with enterprise software giant Oracle.

SAIF Partners, based in Hong Kong, has more than $2.2 billion under management. The firm has a pan-Asian focus, and has made more than 100 investments in China including online gaming company Beijing Perfect World, TiVo Greater China and lighting products maker NVC. The firm invested $40 million in China’s Shanda Interactive Entertainment in 2003. Shanda went public on Nasdaq in May 2004 and returned $520 million, or 13 times cost in 22 months.

SAIF started out in 2001 as part of SOFTBANK Corp, with Cisco Systems as the sole investor in the $400 million SOFTBANK Asia Infrastructure Fund. In 2005, the team gained its independence and raised $643 million for Fund II. It is currently investing Fund III, a $1.1 billion vehicle closed last May.