SCPE eyes expansion at Sei Woo post-MBO

Standard Chartered Private Equity, the private equity arm of Standard Chartered Bank, invested $20 million in the Singapore-based supplier of customised rubber products.

A relatively new player in the business, the private equity arm of Standard Chartered Bank is looking to support the expansion of Sei Woo Technologies following the completion of a $20 million (€16.5 million) management buyout.
Standard Chartered Private Equity (SCPE) concluded the transaction in late November after a year of negotiations, but the announcement was only made recently after Sei Woo’s employees, customers and suppliers were informed.

Established in 1962, with interests in manufacturing plants in China, Singapore-headquartered Sei Woo supplies customised products and services centred around rubber and polymeric processing, with revenues of around S$60 million (€30.4 million; $36 million).

The MBO was financed by Standard Chartered Bank, which allocated $500 million for buyouts when its private equity arm was set up in 2002.
 “We are nowhere near used up,” Alastair Morrison, managing director of Standard Chartered Private Equity told PEO, noting that less than half of the capital allocated had been invested. He added that the rate of investment is accelerating, and has more than doubled year after year since SCPE’s inception over three years ago.
As for what lies ahead for Sei Woo, SCPE intends to broaden the management capacity of Sei WooTechnologies, formerly a family business, Morrison said. Previously, Dr Low Yoon Keong, non-executive chairman of  Sei Woo, was majority shareholder. “We intend to grow the business organically, and subsequently through acquisitions,” said Morrison.
Asked about SCPE’s exit, Morrison said there was no clear plan: “Let’s grow the business, then review operations in three or four years’ time, whether to issue IPO, or sell it to someone else.”
In 2004, SCPE and Actis invested more than $22 million as part of a management buyout of Unza Group, a Malaysian maker of toiletries and household cleaners.
SCPE focuses on Southeast Asia, India, South Korea and Greater China. For investments in India, it has a joint $100-million Merlion India Fund with Temasek, the investment arm of the Singapore government.