Stockholm-based EQT is set to acquire one of the largest private equity firms in Asia, Jean Salata’s Baring Private Equity Asia, in a deal worth $7.5 billion.
The deal is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter. Baring currently has $19.5 billion in assets under management and will be sold for $1.7 billion in cash and 191 million new ordinary EQT shares.
Following the deal with EQT, Salata, currently Baring’s Chief Executive Officer, will be the Head of the Combined Asia Business, which will be rebranded as BPEA EQT Asia. He will also join EQT’s executive committee.
Salata, a Chilean citizen who moved to Hong Kong in 1989 and joined Baring in 1997, led a management buyout of Baring in 2000. His current estimated net worth is $2.95 billion, making him Hong Kong’s wealthiest person in private equity. In February, Salata appeared on Forbes’ Hong Kong Rich List.
“We are thrilled to embark on this journey with EQT and by the possibilities that this combination creates,” said Baring Chief Executive Officer Salata in a joint statement with EQT. “It is a game-changer for both our firms and will accelerate our ability to deliver superior returns for our clients.”
Baring has a portfolio of 46 companies, including AI company Horizon Robotics and JD Health, which is the health products arm of Chinese billionaire Richard Liu’s e-commerce giant JD.com.
According to their joint press release, Baring and EQT emphasized that the strategic and cultural fit between the two companies enhanced the deal. Baring has eight offices across the Asia-Pacific, which will accelerate EQT’s expansion in the region and bring it to 25 offices worldwide.
"We are very excited to join forces with BPEA, which represents a step-change in our global reach with immediate Pan-Asian presence at scale,” said Christian Sinding, CEO and Managing Partner of EQT. “Expanding our footprint in Asia is part of the strategic objectives we set out at the time of our IPO, and BPEA represents a unique opportunity, as a well-established and top-performing firm in the region, to enhance our global platform and position us to capitalize on the structural growth opportunity in Asian private markets.”
Private market growth in Asia has outpaced that of Europe and North America combined, at an annualized 24% since 2015.