Saudi LP puts $125m in China's B2C giant(2)

The private equity arm of Kingdom Holding, headed by Saudi prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, led a consortium of investors in the $400m funding round of Chinese e-commerce business 360Buy.

Saudi Arabia investment firm Kingdom Holding has invested approximately $125 million into online shopping business and China’s Amazon.com equivalent, 360Buy.com, according to a company statement. 

Kingdom, headed by business tycoon and Saudi prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, led a consortium of investors in a funding round worth a combined $400 million. Other investors in the consortium were not disclosed, but the group was advised by Qatari investment bank QInvest, the statement said. 

360Buy has attracted a number of private equity investors in the past. In November last year, the business raised another $400 million from a consortium led by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. The Canadian LP has significantly increased its direct investment capabilities in Asia and plans to open a Hong Kong office this year, an OTPP spokeswoman told Private Equity International earlier. 

The largest investment from private equity into 360Buy was in March 2011 when investors including Russian internet investment group Digital Sky Technologies committed $1.5 billion to the B2C company, PEI reported earlier. 

Kingdom’s investment in 360Buy signals its increased commitment to invest in China, the firm said. 

Alwaleed commented in the statement, “Our deal solidifies the strategic relationship between Saudi Arabia and China. The acquisition is also an extension of the initiative of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to support the business alliance between Saudi Arabia and the People’s Republic of China. This was highlighted during the visit of the Chinese President Hu Jintao to Saudi Arabia. We are also pleased to fortify our investment and business ties with QInvest.”

Kingdom already has a presence in China through Citibank and has investments in China including in Disneyland Hong Kong, Four Seasons Hotels and Fairmont Raffles Hotel.

The Saudi LP has $25 billion in assets under management and invests in both private equity and real estate, according to PEI’s Research and Analytics division.