Singapore’s GIC and Temasek invested in the
U.S. technology sector this week. In other news, sovereign
funds continue to grapple with the drop in oil prices and ADIC
reshuffles its private equity team.
Singapore’s U.S. Private Equity Deals
Singapore’s $342 billion GIC agreed to another huge private equity
deal this week. The sovereign wealth fund teamed up with
Washington D.C.-based private equity giant Carlyle Group and
other unnamed co-investors to buy Mountain View,
California-based Veritas, the data storage subsidiary of U.S.
technology company Symantec Corp., for $8 billion. In a
statement, Symantec said its board of directors had approved
the sale and that it expected the deal to close by January 1,
GIC has a longstanding relationship with Carlyle: The SWF is an
investor in Carlyle funds and regularly collaborates with the
firm on private equity transactions. In late 2014, for example,
the partners became co-investors in U.K.-based roadside
assistance firm RAC after GIC bought 50 percent of the company
from Carlyle in an £800 million ($1.3 billion) deal. And
both GIC and Carlyle have bought minority stakes in Brazilian
health care chain Rede D’Or Sao Luiz this
GIC’s peer, Singapore’s $194 billion
Temasek Holdings, also invested in U.S.
technology this week — although Temasek’s
deal was considerably smaller. According to media reports,
Temasek led a $40 million fundraising round for Kansas City,
Missouri-based accounts receivable online marketplace C2FO. The
startup company runs and manages an online platform that
enables customers to obtain discounts by paying their
vendors’ invoices promptly.
Oil Funds Grapple with Low Prices
Sovereign wealth funds across the globe are coming under
pressure to support government budgets as oil revenues decline.
Norway is a case in point. Norges Bank Investment Management,
the arm of the central bank that oversees the
country’s $870 billion Government Pension Fund Global, has
forecast that outflows to support budgetary spending may
outstrip the fund's dedicated inflows in the coming fiscal
year. Nor is the pressure to spend likely to decline: Falling
oil prices have already pushed Norway's jobless rate to 4.3
percent in May 2015, the highest in 11 years.
Kuwait’s economy, too, has been badly hit by the
drop in oil prices. The Middle Eastern country ran a budget
deficit for the 2014-'15 fiscal year — its first in
over a decade. But Finance Minister Anas Khalid al-Saleh said
on Monday that the government would not withdraw capital from
the country's $600 billion sovereign wealth funds, the Future Generations Fund and the General Reserve Fund. In a statement,
al-Saleh reaffirmed Kuwait's commitment to building savings for
Busy Week at ADIC
The $110 billion Abu Dhabi Investment Council (ADIC)
reportedly cancelled its plans to sell a $1 billion private
equity portfolio this week. ADIC had hired New York-based
investment adviser Evercore Partners to find bidders for the
portfolio of secondary investments, but the firm struggled to
source interested parties.
ADIC has also reshuffled its private equity staff. Nazem
al-Kudsi, the CEO of ADIC’s private equity-focused
subsidiary Invest AD, has left his post after a seven-year
stint at the company. Al-Kudsi has joined Abu Dhabi-based
venture capital firm Emirates International Investment Co., a
unit of National Holding, one of the emirate's biggest business
conglomerates. Khalifa Sultan al-Suwaidi, ADIC's director of
direct investments, will serve as interim CEO at Invest AD
while the company looks for a replacement.