A warm “Selamat Datang” to Private Equity from Malaysia

For the last two days I have been attending the 2nd Annual Private Equity Forum in Malaysia and the country has indeed provided a “Selamat Datang” to the delegates, primarily consisting of representatives of local, regional and international General Partners, along with Advisors from many of the nearby Asian countries.

What I find interesting about this conference is that it has been co-hosted by Ekuinas, a Government private equity fund management company, and the Malaysian Government’s Employees Provident Fund (EPF), thus proving that a country’s government can embrace the alternative asset class of private equity if it so chooses.

When you look at Private Equity investment in the ASEAN region in the last five years, it’s very obvious that the most attractive place for private equity funds to invest historically has been Singapore – with 84 deals accounting for 38 per cent (circa USD 6.5bn) of all deal value. However Malaysia holds 2nd place, with 42 deals totalling USD 3.1bn and saw its first USD 1bn+ deals in 2013 with the simultaneous public takeovers of both QSR Brands and KFC Holdings Malaysia by a consortium led by CVC, EPF and Johor Corporation.

However, sentiment displayed at the conference by a number of the attendees representing global funds like KKR, CVC and TPG is that Malaysia offers significant potential for Private Equity, and whilst the country may not be awash with USD 1bn+ deals, there is certainly a view that there are exciting and potentially profitable deals to be done for both investors and the management teams of Malaysian companies.