Temasek acquires 24.95% stake in retailer AS Watson for $5.7bn


Asia PacificSingapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek has bought a 24.95 per cent stake in health and beauty retailer AS Watson & Co from billionaire Li Ka-shing’s firm Hutchison Whampoa in a $5.7bn deal.

Temasek said that this deal has increased its exposure to the consumer retail sector with a balanced focus on a growing Asia and a recovering Europe.

AS Watson currently operates more than 10,500 stores in 25 countries around the globe.

Its flagship brand Watsons operates over 4,000 stores and more than 900 pharmacies.

Head of Investment Group in Temasek Chia Song Hwee said, “We share their philosophy to invest and build businesses for the long term, especially in Asia.

“AS Watson is a well-established company with a proven management team, a valuable franchise and a good growth story.

“The consumer retail sector is a good proxy to growing middle income populations and transforming economies. This is very much part of our investment themes as we shape Temasek’s portfolio for the long term.”

in the meantime, Temasek is reportedly in talks to sell $1bn worth of stakes in its leveraged buyout funds to French private equity firm Ardian.

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