Temasek Makes Mega Overseas Bet in A.S. Watson

Temasek WatsonsSingapore’s Temasek Holdings is spending 44 billion HKD (US$ 5.7 billion) for a 24.95% stake in A.S. Watson & Co., the retail arm of Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. The deal permits a higher valuation for A.S. Watson’s assets and augments Temasek’s exposure to consumer retail.

A.S. Watson is the biggest international health and beauty retailer.

According to a press release, Chia Song Hwee, head of investment group in Temasek said, “We are very pleased with the opportunity to be a long term partner with Hutchison Whampoa Limited through our investment in A.S. Watson. We share their philosophy to invest and build businesses for the long term, especially in Asia. A.S. Watson is a well-established company with a proven management team, a valuable franchise and a good growth story. The consumer retail sector is a good proxy to growing middle income populations and transforming economies. This is very much part of our investment themes as we shape Temasek’s portfolio for the long term.”

Hutchison Whampoa is controlled by Li Ka-shing, the richest man in Asia. In 1981, Hutchison Whampoa took full control of A.S. Watson.

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