HONG KONG (Reuters) – A consortium led by Beijing-based Hopu Investments, one of China’s most influential buyout funds, has agreed to buy a $110 million slice of Chinese coking coal logistics company Winsway, sources with knowledge of the deal said.
In addition to Hopu, founded by top Chinese dealmaker Fang Fenglei, the investor group includes investment holding company Silver Grant (0171.HK) and state-owned metals trader China Minmetals Corp [CHMIN.UL], the sources said.
Fang, who helped Goldman Sachs (GS.N) launch its China investment banking joint venture, established Beijing-based Hopu in 2007 and completed raising a $2.5 billion China fund in 2008.
Winsway was very active in transporting and washing Mongolian coal and transporting it to Chinese end-users, the sources said.
Mongolia-focused coal miner SouthGobi Energy (1878.HK) was one of Winsway’s clients, the source added.
“In this space, logistics is key,” one of the sources said. “It is so important and sustainable, a good business model.”
The investment in Winsway, who was advised by Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE), would give Hopu and its partners about a 20 percent stake in the company and may close as early as next week, one of the sources said.
Hopu invested $60 million, while its partners Silver Grant and Minmetals invested a total of $50 million, one of the sources said.
Hopu declined to comment, while Winsway could not be immediately reached for comment. Deutsche Bank also declined to comment.
In recent months, Hopu has been increasingly active in the resources sector.
Last month, Hopu was sell-side adviser to Argentina’s Bridas Energy when it struck a $3.1 billion energy joint venture deal with Chinese offshore oil giant CNOOC (0883.HK).
Hopu, along with Singapore’s state investor Temasek [TEM.UL], also partly owns Iron Mining International, which owns and operates a Mongolian iron ore mine.
Iron Mining is seeking to raise up to $1 billion in a Hong Kong IPO later this year.
By Joseph Chaney