SCPE, Tiger in $95m shipping deal

The firms have joined a $160m financing round by Singapore-based Greathorse Chemical

Standard Chartered Private Equity has invested a joint $95 million in Greathorse Chemical, a Singapore-based operator of small- to mid-sized chemical tanker vessels, with private investment firm Tiger Group Investments, according to a statement.

Greathorse’s vessels are used to transport chemicals and vegetable oils for industrial customers and will use the funding to construct new stainless steel ships, as well as repurchasing high-quality vessels from the resale market.

The firms are joined in the financing round by other unnamed financial investors, which have invested $65 million in the business taking the total fundraising by Greathorse to $160 million.

“We think that the chemical tanking business offers attractive returns for investors as we believe the demand for chemical shipping services is expected to grow over the next several years,” Graham Porter of Tiger Group Investments, said in the statement.

SCPE invests from its balance sheet, being the private equity unit of Standard Chartered Bank. However, this deal was made by the firm’s specialist energy investment team, part of the same unit as its private equity investment team, a spokeswoman confirmed to Private Equity International. 

Kanad Virk, managing director of SCPE added, “This investment is a landmark deal for our energy, resources and infrastructure team as it represents our first deep water shipping investment. We believe that we are working with a world class partner in an exciting sector with tremendous growth potential.”

SCPE has experienced an overhaul in its management recently, with Wei Zhu taking over as co-head of its global private equity unit in December with Nainesh Jaisingh amid a wave of restructuring.

Since, the firm has been highly active in MENA and Asia – its two target regions.

In December, the firm made a $25 million top-up investment in an Indonesian power plant developer and operator and in May acquired a $50 million stake Indonesia’s Emtek. SCPE has also made investments in the Emirates and Africa this year.

This week, SCPE also acquired a $35 million stake in Vietnamese restaurant chain operator Golden Gate Joint Stock Company, serving as an exit for Mekong Capital. Mekong netted a return multiple of 9.1x and a gross IRR of 45.1 percent from the sale.