SINGAPORE (July 9): Back in 2014, CITIC Group Corporation, China’s state-owned investment holding company with nearly $1.4 trillion in asset, partnered US private-equity firm KKR, to buy a controlling stake in wastewater treatment firm United Envirotech (UEL) which was promptly renamed CITIC Envirotech (CEL).
This was a bid to move into the fast-growing environmental-protection sector in China, a top priority for the Chinese government. The offer to buy the shares of the UEL at $1.65 a share in cash -- a premium of 12.6% over its last transacted price of $1.465 on Nov 6 -- valued the company at about $1.9 billion.
Fast forward to the present, CEL has its work cut out. As at end 2018, CEL had clinched projects in excess of RMB 6 billion ($1.2 billion), which will be progressively delivered over the next two years. And since January, CEL has won another five projects with a combined value of more than RMB 2 billion.