Posted on Monday 6 February 2017 by ub digital

Chinese investment on island of ireland rockets

One of the most significant Chinese investment in the Republic was China General Nuclear Power Group’s purchase of 14 find farms across the island of Ireland. Pictured shaking on the deal are, from left, his Excellency Dr. Yue Xiaoyong, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Ireland, Dr. LU, CEO of CGN Europe Energy, Barry Gavin, CEO of Gaelectric Holdings plc, and Mr. Eoghan Murphy TD, Minister for State at the Departments of Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform.

Chinese investors have arrived in the Republic, and in some style.

Data from law firm Baker McKenzie showed they accounted for $3bn (£2.4bn) of investment there last year, up a massive 29,260% from just $10m (£8m) in 2015 and confirmation of a growing thirst from the cash-rich Chinese private sector for investments in this region.

No separate data was available for Northern Ireland but the news chimes with the emergence of Chinese buyers for a number key assets here.

County Antrim engineering company SDC Trailers was scooped up last summer by Shenzhen-based CIMC Vehicles, Portadown-based aerospace company Thompson Aero Seating was bought at the end of 2016 by Beijing company The Aviation Industry Corporation of China while China General Nuclear Power Group’s bought seven wind farms spread across Northern Ireland, also in December 2016.

The latter deal was part of the purchase of 14 wind farms across the island of Ireland for a total of £400m (£321m), according to the data from Baker McKenzie, and while the energy sector in the Republic saw a significant amount of investment from Chinese buyers, it was the aerospace sector which topped the value league table.

That was mostly down to HNA Group's purchase of Irish aircraft leasing business Avolon, for US$2.5bn (£2bn) a deal which saw Avolon become part of HNA's extensive interests in the aviation sector, spanning stakes in 20 airlines and nine airports in China.

Meanwhile, other sectors in the Republic which have received Chinese investment in 2016 were ICT with $121m (£97m) financial and business services with $26m (21m), electronics with $10m (£8m), entertainment with $5m (£4m) and industrial machinery and equipment with $3m (£2.4m).

Tim Gee, M&A partner from Baker McKenzie said investment from China will remain strong, despite easing from a strong base early last year.

"Ireland's surge in investment from China is indicative of a trend throughout Europe, as Chinese investors look to the transport, energy, ICT and industrial machinery and equipment sectors,” he said. “While 2017 is likely to be another strong year globally, as previously announced deals reach financial close, the number of newly announced Chinese acquisitions in Europe and North America has dipped since an exceptional Q1 2016."

Ireland $bn top deals

 

Investor

Target

Value

 

HNA

Avolon

$2.5bn

 

China General Nuclear

wind farm projects

$0.4bn

 

TravelSky Technology

OpenJaw

<$0.1bn

 

Alibaba

Showtime Analytics

<$0.1bn

 

     

 

Source: Rhodium Group.

 

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