Bahrain’s Investcorp Targets RMB2-4 Billion Buyout Fund in China

Investcorp, a global investment institution headquartered in Bahrain, plans to establish its first RMB fund targeting RMB2 billion to RMB4 billion yuan to focus on buyout investment opportunities in China.

Founded in 1982, Investcorp is an alternative asset investment institution managing US$50 billion, making it one of the largest alternative asset investment institutions in the Middle East.

Its investment scope covers private equity, real estate, credit management, absolute returns, GP investments, infrastructure, and insurance asset management.

"There is an increasing need for RMB to flow back to China for reinvestment within the Gulf Cooperation Council," said Hazem Ben-Gacem, Co-CEO of Investcorp. He revealed that Investcorp plans to apply for regulatory clearance from Chinese regulatory authorities for the fund in the coming months.

Investcorp’s planned RMB Buyout Fund follows its first acquisition in China, purchasing Shandong Jianuo Electronics for about US$100 million. Shandong Jianuo Electronics mainly produces components used in electric vehicle power management and battery charging infrastructure.

Located in the southwest of the Persian Gulf, Bahrain is situated between Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Long been known as the "Middle East’s Little Hong Kong," Bahrain was one of the first countries in the Middle East to explore diversified economic development.

In 1982, Bahrain’s largest consortium, Investcorp, was established, initially positioned as a boutique Gulf investment group. The UAE’s third-largest sovereign investment fund, Mubadala, is its largest external shareholder, holding 20% of the shares.

Investcorp’s past investments have mainly been in Western Europe and North America, focusing on growth-stage startups and medium-sized companies, with typical investment sizes ranging from US$15 to US$50 million.

Investcorp’s investment focus spans various fields, from real estate to high-tech and luxury goods. Particularly in luxury goods, renowned fashion brands such as Breguet, Tiffany, and Gucci have appeared as Investcorp’s investment portfolio.

Around 2015, InvestCorp set an ambitious new global growth strategy to turn its focus to Asia. That same year, Investcorp launched its credit management business and opened a new office in Singapore, providing a foothold for its strategic investments in Asia. Subsequently, Investcorp opened offices in India, Japan, and Hong Kong, China.

According to its official website, in just eight years, Investcorp’s assets under management have soared from US$10 billion in 2015 to US$50 billion this year.

As early as 2018, Investcorp partnered with China Everbright Limited to establish its first dollar fund focused on the Chinese market. The initial phase of the fund raised US$483 million, concentrating on investing in growth-stage technology companies in China. The fund’s investment portfolio includes many Chinese tech enterprises such as Meituan Dianping, SenseTime, iQIYI, and NetEase Cloud Music.

Following this, Investcorp set its sights on China’s domestic consumer market. In 2019, Investcorp signed a fund cooperation agreement with China Resources Capital and Fung Group to launch the Asia Food Fund with US$500 million. This fund focuses on high-end brands in sectors such as condiments, packaged foods, and healthy snacks.

Additionally, Investcorp is a Limited Partner (LP) in Chinese medical fund Hao Yue Capital and actively participates as a General Partner (GP) in investing in Chinese medical projects.

Last year, Investcorp launched another US$500 million fund in partnership with the Fung family’s private investment company based in Hong Kong, focusing on medium-sized enterprises in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

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