SINGAPORE (Mar 19): On March 13, shareholders of offshore and maritime support company Gaylin Holdings welcomed a new owner. Private-equity firm ShawKwei & Partners has completed its purchase of 76% of Gaylin for US$52 million ($68.2 million). Kyle Shaw, managing director of ShawKwei, is confident of being able to turn the company around. “We need to get our sales back up, which will have a tremendous impact on the gross margins. We expect our business plan to be profitable on operating margin next year,” he says.

Shaw is a private-equity veteran who has bought out several local companies — including manufacturers Beyonics Technology and Chosen Holdings. ShawKwei has more than US$500 million of assets under management and is currently raising a fourth fund with a target of US$800 million. The firm generally holds on to its companies for five years: three years to execute a strategy and two years to hunt for an exit.

Somewhat uniquely, ShawKwei has not acquired all of Gaylin. It is also not delisting the company. Shaw says this was “largely [because] the current shareholders, the Teo [family that founded Gaylin], did not want to sell”. The family is retaining a 14.3% stake in Gaylin.

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