基金系列:Private Equity in China Comes of Age (转帖)——今天的最新报道


Asia July 24, 2007, 7:58AM EST

Private Equity in China Comes of Age

It’s still early days, but the private equity mania sweeping the world’s major economies is starting to gain traction in China

by Frederik Balfour and Xiang Ji

The private equity mega-wave that is transforming global finance and business continues apace. Firms such as the Blackstone Group (BX), Carlyle, Goldman Sachs (GS), Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the Texas Pacific Group, and others spent $737.4 billion in 2006 globally purchasing companies privately or buying stakes in outfits with plans to go public—more than double the level the year before, according to market researcher Dealogic. And there was $630 billion worth of deals done in the first half of 2007.

Yet until recently the dealmaking frenzy has pretty much passed China by. The Chinese government, wary of foreign dealmakers, last September clamped down on allowing Chinese companies to transfer their assets to offshore holding companies, a move regarded as a major blow for foreign private equity firms interested in eventually listing mainland companies overseas and recouping their investment.

The outlook for private equity deals in China, however, is starting to brighten, thanks to the white-hot performance of China’s domestic stock exchanges and continuing, robust, economic growth. Share prices at the bourses in Shanghai and Shenzhen are up 58% and 117%, respectively, in 2007, though both markets are highly volatile. And that is generating insatiable appetite for new listings and providing an exit strategy for private equity outfits with a stomach for risk. "I think there is a lot of opportunity for private equity in China," says Chauncey Shey, chief executive officer of Softbank China Venture Capital.

Tied to Local Authorities

To be sure, the volume of deals is still very low and so far this year is up only to 24, from 22 for the same period last year, according to Thomson Financial. The value of private equity transactions from Jan. 1 to July 17 actually dropped 84%, to $678 million, compared with $4.2 billion for the same period last year. However these figures are distorted by the $3.8 billion pre-initial public offering investment in Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBAF.PK) by a consortium including Goldman Sachs, Allianz (ALIZF.PK), and American Express (AXP).

Until now, domestic Chinese private equity firms have been tied to single companies or local authorities and jurisdictions. The best known is Hony Capital, the private equity arm of Legend Holdings, the parent company of Lenovo (LNVGF.PK). It has $720 million under management, and investors include Goldman Sachs and Temasek, the investment arm of the Singapore government.

The majority of the roughly 200 private equity firms in China are yuan-denominated funds, typically involved with earlier-stage investments, and are focused on the regions where they are ba<x>sed, giving them an inside edge over truly independent private equity firms. "Many people hope to raise capital from state-owned entities because if your fund has capital from state-owned entities, then your fund has the government’s backing and therefore has the government’s support," says Walter Huang, who plans to set up a Tianjin-ba<x>sed fund.

Cash-Rich Individuals Moving into Private Equity

Huang plans to take advantage of a new partnership enterprise law that took effect on June 1 allowing the formation in China of limited partnerships in private equity funds ba<x>sed on similar principles in the U.S. Though no new funds have yet received the green light, Bloomberg News reported that Fang Fenglei, the current chairman of a joint venture investment bank in China called Goldman Sachs Gao Hua, is considering raising up to $700 million in a local currency fund.

"There are now [cash-rich Chinese] individuals and institutions who have made money through IPOs and investments coming into domestic funds," says Neil Shen, founding managing partner of Sequoia Capital China, which has raised a total of $950 million to invest on the mainland. Shen should know. Ctrip (CTRP), the online travel outfit he helped found in the late 1990s, has been one of the best-performing Chinese companies on Nasdaq (NDAQ) since it listed in 2003, making him a multimillionaire.

While overseas listings have been the principal exit vehicle available to private equity funds, the domestic Chinese stock market is now becoming an increasingly viable alternative. Indeed, the decision by the government last September to disallow Chinese companies from registering offshore was aimed at ensuring more mainland companies would list locally.
Frenzied Competition from Newbies

But the booming stock market is a double-edged sword. With the price-earnings ratios for 2007 earnings of listed companies ranging between 30 and 40 times, target companies have an inflated idea of their worth, which is pushing up valuations paid during early stages of funding before companies are taken public. "The A-share [market] is good news for us, it’s a bonus," says Kathy Xu, who runs Shanghai-ba<x>sed Capital Today, with $280 million worth of funds to invest. "We are serious about listing some of our portfolio companies in the A-share market."

Also, the expectation that cashing out from Chinese companies is easier than a few years ago has increased the field of competition as many firms with limited experience in China have been focusing on pre-IPO investments. "It’s more competitive for sure," says Sequoia’s Shen. This is resulting in double-digit price-to-projected earnings ratios today, compared with single-digit valuations a couple of years ago, says Marcus Thompson, chief investment officer at HSBC Private Equity (Asia). "There is always too much money chasing too few deals."

Of course, the potentially biggest factor in the future of the private equity landscape in China is the mammoth State Investment of China fund, which has been set up to manage about $200 billion of the country’s $1.3 trillion in foreign currency reserves. Just a couple of months old, the fund made headlines in May when it took a $3 billion stake in private equity firm Blackstone. However the role the fund will play within China has yet to be seen (see BusinessWeek.com, 5/21/07, "China’s $3 Billion Bet on Blackstone").
Acting More Like Venture-Capital Funds

Indeed, it’s still early days for private equity in China, which ranks just 28th globally in terms of dollars invested. Though growing, the average deal size is still small too, largely because of the near absence of buyouts in the country where the largest companies are still controlled by the state, which finds foreign control over its assets unpalatable. "The headline message is, this is not a buyout market," says Michael Thorneman, who heads up the private equity practice at Bain & Co. in Shanghai. He reckons the average deal size is just $40 million.

As a result, private equity funds find themselves acting more like venture-capital funds in China. The small deal size also reflects the relative immaturity of the private-sector companies with short track records and fast and loose styles. "When we first find these enterprises they can often be in quite a shambolic state of affairs," says Thompson of HSBC.

Even non-controlling stakes by foreigners are subject to substantial approval delays. A deal by Carlyle to take a 45% stake in Xugong Group Construction Machinery for a price not yet disclosed—which was scaled back from an original 80% stake costing $375 million proposed in October, 2005—is still waiting approval by the government. "These things take a long time to come to fruition," Wayne Tsou, managing director of Carlyle Asia Investment Advisers, said in an interview earlier this year. A bid by Carlyle to take an 8% stake in Chongqing Commercial Bank for $43 million was rejected by the Chinese government.

Complicating matters is the pervasive feeling within China that past deals, such as pre-IPO stakes, have allowed foreigners to make windfall profits on state assets. Selling to foreigners is particularly sensitive at the moment, as China gears up for the Communist Party Congress in the fall. "People don’t want to be seen politically selling assets too cheaply," says Richard Gibb, head of financial institutions group at Merrill Lynch (MER). "That’s not good for their careers."

Balfour is Asia Correspondent for BusinessWeek ba<x>sed in Hong Kong. Xiang is a reporter in BusinessWeek’s Hong Kong bureau.

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8 Responses to “基金系列:Private Equity in China Comes of Age (转帖)——今天的最新报道”

  1. yuming218 Says:



  2. 煎饼JJ Says:


    请移莲步帮忙看看我的项目好不好投资。在这里 http://www.haiguinet.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?p=1153092

  3. 君子豹 Says:

    标题:JJ, PE就是PE, 不是塑料,也不是VC,哈哈!不过你的项目挺有意思。

  4. 小青蛙 Says:



    在这样的条件下,你们这些大佬是不是也要依靠联合state-owned entities?

  5. 安普若 Says:



  6. 安普若 Says:




    http://www.sina.com.cn 2007年08月10日 13:36 顶点财经







      根据Thomson Financial数据,可以肯定的是交易数量仍然很低,今年截至到目前,只与去年同期的22上升至24个交易。私募股权交易价值从1月1日至7月17日去年同期的42亿美元相比实际上下降了84%,降至6.78亿美元。但去年的数字被由高盛、安联公司(ALIZF.PK)和美国捷运组成的财团投资中国工商银行( 6.46,-0.31,-4.58%)的Pre-IPO项目的38亿美元所扭曲。








      但是蓬勃发展的股市是一把双刃剑。当上市公司2007年利润的市盈率在30倍和40倍之间,目标公司对其价值就有了膨胀的幻想,于是在公司上市之前融资的早期阶段,公司的估价被推高了。\"A股(市场)对我们来说是个好消息,是个额外的利好\",徐新说。徐新经营着一个有2.8亿美元以上海为基地的基金,今日资本。\"我们非常重视将我们所投资的企业在A股市场上市。\"此外,从中国公司套现比几年前容易的预期使得竞争领域大大增强了,因为许多经验有限的公司已经开始集中做Pre-IPO的投资了。\"竞争肯定将更加激烈\",红杉资本的沈先生说。这是今天两位数的预期收益的市盈率所导致的结果,而几年前还是一位数的股价,正如汇丰银行私募股权(亚洲)的首席投资官唐铭楷(Marcus Thompson)说,\"总是有太多的钱去追逐太少的项目。\"当然,影响中国未来私募股权领域的潜在的最大因素是庞大的国有投资基金。中国的国有基金管理着中国1,3000亿美元外汇储备中的大约2000亿美元的资金。成立仅两个月,该基金就因买入了私募股权基金公司黑石30亿美元的股份而在五月份上了头版头条。仍而,该基金在中国扮演一个什么样的角色仍将会被拭目以待。(见商业周刊网,2007-05-21,\"中国在黑石身上押注30亿美元\")。


      事实上,中国的私募股权投资还处于早期阶段,按所投资的美元计算,中国的私募股权投资在全球排第28位。尽管在不断增长,但平均交易规模仍然比较小,最大的原因是中国几乎没有公司兼并,最大的公司仍然是国家控股的,国家感到外资控股不太舒服。\"头条的信息是这里不是一个兼并市场(buyout market)。\"在上海的贝恩公司负责私募股权投资的唐麦(Michael Thorneman)说。他计算出平均交易规模仅有4千万美元。

      因此,中国的私募股权基金更像是风险投资基金。较小的交易规模也反映了非上市公司的相对不成熟,他们只有较短的业绩历史并且快速和松散的风格。\"当我们第一次找到这些公司,他们的业务状况经常是十分混乱的。\"汇丰的唐铭楷(Marcus Thompson)说。


      更为复杂的事情是,在中国有一个根深蒂固的感觉是,如Pre-IPO股权,已经让外国人从国有资产中获得了暴利。当中国正在准备今年秋季召开中国共产党代表大会的时候,卖给外国人就是一个相当敏感事情。\"政治上来说,大家不想看到以太低的价格出售国有资产。\"美林集团的金融机构部门的负责人理查德·吉布(Richard Gibb)说。\"这对他们的仕途没有好处。\"

      注:Balfour是香港的《新闻周刊》的亚洲记者。Xiang是《新闻周刊》香港局的记者。 (来源:商业周刊)


  7. 沙沫 Says:





  8. 安普若 Says:


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