Warburg makes $200m China Auto Rental investment following scrapped IPO


Private equity firm Warburg Pincus has stepped in with a $200m investment in China Auto Rental after the company was forced to scrap its planned IPO amid market instability.

The Legend Holdings-backed company plans to pay down debt and renew the expansion of its 32,000-strong fleet it had hoped to achieve through the $137.5m-targeting Nasdaq listing.

Warburg’s investment is the largest equity financing in China’s car rental industry to date, followed by Legend’s strategic investment in China Auto in August 2010.

Legend is the parent company of China-based private equity fund Hony Capital and the owner of computer manufacturing giant Lenovo.

Warburg Pincus manageing director David Li said, “We have been following closely the development of the Company for a long time.

“The company has a strong brand, customer base, shareholder base and management team.

“Warburg Pincus will bring additional support to China Auto Rental in terms of branding, funding, corporate governance and international resources.

He added, “Legend Holdings is one of the most successful enterprises in China since the country adopted the open-door policy.

“Over the past 28 years, Legend Holdings has not only fostered the development of a series of corporate management philosophies and approaches, but has also led and given rise to the growth of a large number of influential companies.

“We feel honoured to have the opportunity to cooperate with Legend Holdings.”

Since the firm’s first investment in China in 1994, Warburg Pincus has invested more than $3bn in companies including 7 Days Inn , AsiaInfo , Guangzhou R&F Properties and  Harbin Pharmaceutical.

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