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SMC3’ announces “Vision 8|8” plan to manage RMB8+bn in AUM in 8+ cities by 2015

SMC Capital China (“SMC3”), a leading China-focused growth capital private equity firm today announces its “Vision 8|8” nationwide expansion plan and six new investments exceeding RMB350 million in total commitments.

SMC3 is part of Hong Kong based Simon Murray Group (“SMG”), one of Asia’s longest running and most established alternative asset management firms with over USD1.5 billion assets under management in Asia and China.   Mr. Simon Murray, the former CEO of Hutchinson Whampoa and former Executive Chairman of Deutsche Bank Asia, founded SMG in 1997.   He was recently appointed Chairman of Glencore International, the world’s largest diversified commodities trader with 2010 revenues exceeding USD145 billion.  Besides his active Chairman roles at SMG and SMC3, Mr. Murray currently holds or has held Board and Advisory positions with some of the world’s most important companies including Cheung Kong Holdings, CNOOC, Orient Overseas, IRC Limited, Vodafone, General Electric (USA), Vivendi Universal, Compagnie Financière Richemont S.A., Essar Energy, Grace Semiconductor, Huawei Technologies, Tommy Hilfiger, Hermès, Macquarie Bank, Rothschild and Bain & Company.

SMG Chairman Simon Murray

SMC3 is SMG’s China private equity platform focused on growth stage enterprises.  It is a long-term activist investor with a team equipped with financial expertise, deep industry domain knowledge, marketing and operations experience to benefit portfolio firms.  The firm is open to invest in any compelling industry but has three preferred target sectors where its partners could bring their experience and value-added:  1) consumer and healthcare; 2) IT and advanced manufacturing; and 3) clean-tech and energy savings.

 “Despite media hype in recent years, we believe the Chinese private equity market is still under-penetrated in certain niches,” explains Mr. Murray.  “SMC3 targets under-served early growth capital firms, particularly in second and third tier Chinese cities.   Our management team consists of successful entrepreneurs and business builders – not just bankers – and sure, we provide smart financial advice, but we also offer very active assistance to entrepreneurs with operations, marketing, HR and international expansion.”

SMC3 is making a major long term commitment to China private equity,” says Mr. San Eng, the Founding Partner of SMC3.   “SMC3’s ‘Vision 8|8’ plan is to become the most ‘Chinese’ of the international growth capital firms in China, focusing on world-class best practices with full localization via both USD and RMB funds.   By 2015, we aim to manage over RMB8 billion with local offices, teams and strategic partners in at least 8 Chinese cities.”

SMC3 has three important competitive advantages,” says Mr. Eng.  “First, we are one of the few international fund managers with on-the-ground teams in tier two and three markets.  We bring best-of-breed investment practices, service quality, international network and channels to our local portfolio firms.  Second, with local governments and strategic partners as our investors, SMC3 enjoys local support in deal sourcing, portfolio monitoring and favourable government policies.  Third, our partners have deep domain knowledge, operations and management expertise that match our target investment sectors.”

SMC3 is already seeing signs of early successes, having closed a USD “Mother Fund” and three joint venture RMB funds with local partners in Wuxi and Dalian in the past ten months.   The firm has partnered with the Wuxi government and Wuxi’s Guolian Group to form two funds with a local team and office.    SMC3also established a Dalian fund with the local government and partners, a Dalian team and office.    It has doubled the size of the China investment team to sixteen professionals across offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Wuxi and Dalian.

Most importantly, SMC3 s approach is working with access to great deals.   In past eight months, it has secured investments in six deals totalling over RMB350 million in total commitments (including expected follow on investment rounds).   SMC3 was the lead investor in all but two of these six deals.   One portfolio firm, SMC Synapse Partners, saw its core holding in 21Vianet Group complete its successful US IPO in April 2011 (NASDAQ: VNET).

UPDATE. 2011-05-16
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