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KKR exits Singapore’s Unisteel Technology to SFS Group

27 Aug 2012

KKR has agreed to sell Unisteel Technology International, a maker of disc drive components based in Singapore, to a subsidiary of Swiss strategic buyer SFS Group, marking the global buyout giant’s first full exit from its maiden pan Asia fund.

Unisteel makes precision fasteners, stamped components, machining parts, engineered plastics, optical parts, and surface treatments for a range of industries including data storage, mobile applications, and consumer electronics.

The company is based in Singapore and has manufacturing facilities in China and Malaysia.

The newly combined businesses of the SFS Group and Unisteel will employ more than 7,000 people globally, operate 25 manufacturing facilities across Europe, Asia and North America, and possess an enhanced range of production capabilities.

KKR saw off bids from Bain Capital and Carlyle to delist Unisteel from the Singapore Stock Exchange in 2008 for $575m.

“At the time of the investment, KKR saw the opportunity to partner with Unisteel’s management team to help strengthen their foundational capabilities in order to make the business more responsive and more diversified, and therefore better positioned for the future,” said Ming Lu, a member of KKR and head of Southeast Asia.

“With this transaction, Unisteel now has an excellent platform for further growth as a part of the SFS Group. We wish Unisteel and the combined enterprise continued success.”

Rippledot Capital Advisers and Credit Suisse acted as financial advisers to KKR.

UBS acted as financial adviser to the SFS Group.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

KKR is currently on the road fundraising for its second pan Asia fund, a $6bn vehicle that will rank as the biggest ever raised to target investments in the region. The fund has raised over $3bn to date.

The firm is also reported to have launched a Singapore-based team of eight dealmakers, with Lu continuing to lead its Southeast Asia team in Hong Kong.

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