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KKR makes maiden Malaysia deal first buyout from world’s largest Asia buyout vehicle

10 Oct 2013

Weststar Aviation KKRUS private equity firm KKR has sealed its first investment in Malaysia by picking up a “substantial” minority stake in helicopter manufacturer Weststar Aviation for $200m.

The decade-old company provides offshore transport services to the oil and gas industry, and is the largest business of its type in Southeast Asia.

Weststar also marks KKR’s first investment from the $6bn Asia buyout fund it closed in July, the largest-ever vehicle dedicated to the region.

Three years ago KKR bought a 49.9 per cent stake in European onshore helicopter service giant World Helicopters, which was later renamed Avincis.

KKR Southeast Asia head Ming Lu said, “We believe trends in the oil and gas sector in Malaysia and the broader region are long-term positive, and we look forward to supporting the company in its ambitious growth and expansion plans.

“Malaysia is a key target market for KKR.

“In our opinion it has differentiated demographics with a young and growing population, has its own natural resources, has a strong banking system with a relatively balanced economy, and strong opportunities for growth and productivity.”

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