20/12/2018 – Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is planning to sell Asia’s largest funeral services provider, Nirvana Asia Ltd., including a potential sale that could be worth more than US$1.8 billion.
This move is due to a strong inbound interest in Nirvana Asia from a number of parties including infrastructure investors, sovereign wealth funds and private equity.
Talks however are still in early stages.
CVC bought Malaysia-based Nirvana for US$1.1 billion, and subsequently delisted the company from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2016, betting on increased demand for luxury funerals in the region.
If this deal is successful, it will signal a quick exit for London-based investment firm, though private-equity investments typically last about five years.
In February 2018, US-based private equity firm Baird Capital made an undisclosed indirect investment in Nirvana Asia through acquiring a vehicle controlled by its founder and CEO Tan Sri Kong Hon Kong, one of Malaysia’s prominent businessman.
Founded in 1990, Nirvana Asia Group is a bereavement care provider. The company manages memorial park operations, burial plots, niches and tomb design, and construction services in Southeast Asian markets including Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia.
It was earlier reported that CVC Capital is looking to hit the first close of its 5th Asia vehicle with a target funding size between US$4 billion and US$5 billion by the first quarter of 2019.
The investment firm said it is looking to deploy US$1 billion every year from this new vehicle, that is 70 percent more than its predecessor which raised US$3.5 billion in May 2014.
In total, CVC currently has over US$70 billion of assets under management. Through Fund IV, the firm recently made a full acquisition of Malaysian homegrown snack brand Munchy’s parent in June, providing a full exit to the company’s founders and investors, including state civil pension fund KWAP.
Meanwhile, it’s other portfolio company, QSR Brands (M) Holdings Sdn Bhd, which operates over 750 KFC outlets in Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, and Brunei, as well as over 450 Pizza Hut outlets in Malaysia and Singapore, will be listed on Bursa Malaysia by early next year.