Thursday, January 9, 2014
By Yasmine Yahya
Singapore – Local interior furnishings firm Goodrich Global has received a $15 million shot in the arm from a private equity fund that includes Temasek Holdings among its main investors. Dymon Asia Private Equity now owns a 32.2 percent stake in Goodrich, one of the largest distributors of wallpaper products in the Asia Pacific.
The fund is an arm of Dymon Asia Capital, a Singapore-based investment management company that manages about US$3.2 billion (S$4.1 billion) in assets. The particular fund which it used to invest in Goodrich has a target fund size of $300 million and a mandate to invest in promising small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) here and in South-east Asia. Heliconia Capital Management, wholly owned by Temasek Holdings, had seeded $100 million into the fund. “We believe there are a lot of Singapore SMEs which have the potential to become regional and international champions, each in their respective industries. In our view, Goodrich is that champion in the interior furnishings industry,” said Dymon Asia founding partner Keith Tan. “We believe they have the potential to be a flag bearer for Singapore in their business expansion into the region and this is why we chose to invest in Goodrich.” Dymon Asia had begun talks with Goodrich about a possible acquisition a year ago. But it took several months for both parties to understand each other and to iron out all the details and it was only in late November that a deal was inked, he added.
This happened two days after Goodrich chief executive Chan Chong Beng announced that he was stepping down from his role as president of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises so that he could focus more on his business. For Mr Chan, the investment from Dymon is not just about the injection of funds but more importantly about the strategic thinking and operational improvements that Dymon Asia can bring to the table. Dymon now has a seat on Goodrich’s board of directors. “The whole idea behind why we wanted to sell this stake was so that we could tap their regional and international network and also their strategic and operational expertise,” said Mr Chan. “We wanted someone with fresh ideas. The company is already 30 years old and I am concerned that I will run out of ideas one day so I need fresh perspectives to help us relook our business strategy. Having dealt with Dymon the past one year, I am convinced they are able to contribute significantly in this area.”
The partnership has already led to some ambitious targets. Dymon Asia believes that Goodrich could grow its revenues from about $90 million today to $150 million in the next three to five years. At that point, with Mr Chan’s consent, Dymon could help get Goodrich listed on the stock market, Mr Tan said. Goodrich now has 20 offices, 21 galleries and six warehouses across Asia and sells its wallpaper, flooring materials, fabric and carpeting to Singapore, mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates. The firm also has plans to grow through mergers and acquisitions and is now building a new regional distribution and production centre in Suzhou, which it hopes will further propel its expansion in China.
Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Permission required for reproduction.
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