Private equity group Advent International opens office in China

LONDON, April 10 Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:32am EDT

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LONDON, April 10 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Advent International has opened its first office in China to take advantage of investment opportunities in the country.

Advent, founded in 1984, previously operated in China through an affiliate. It does not currently have direct investments in China, but some of the companies it backs, such as Spanish explosives maker MAXAM, have operations there.

The decision to open a Shanghai office follows a review of the Boston-based firm's operations, which led to the closure of offices in Milan and Istanbul last month, an Advent spokeswoman said. Advent already has an office in India.

"There are many interesting investment prospects in China to which we can apply our international experience," Andrew Li, Advent's principal and co-head of Greater China, said in a statement.

Private equity companies like Advent buy businesses and aim to sell them or list them on the stock market at a profit.

Many of the biggest private global equity firms, including The Carlyle Group CVC and Bain Capital, already have offices in China.

Last year Advent, which targets investments in companies worth between 200 million and 2 billion euros, raised 8.5 billion euros ($11.10 billion) in one of the biggest private equity fundraisings since the financial crisis in 2008.

The Shanghai office will provide local support for companies backed by Advent which want to grow in China either organically or through acquisitions. It will also help Advent's global team assess the China angle on international deals.

The six-person China team, led by Filippo de Vecchi and Li, will also look to invest in Chinese companies, focusing on those in the chemicals, healthcare, retail, consumer and leisure sectors.