TPG invests $45 mln in China sportswear maker

By Samuel Shen and Jacqueline Wong

SHANGHAI, Oct 19 (BestGrowthStock) – Global private equity giant TPG
[TPG.UL] said on Tuesday that it formed a consortium to invest
more than $45 million in Chinese casual sportswear maker China
Vogue, betting that the country’s rising middle class will boost
demand for sports shoes, apparel and accessories.

The TPG-led consortium, which also includes Swiss investor
Partners Group (PGHN.S: ) and an existing shareholder ARC China
Holdings Ltd, hopes that the new funding would help China Vogue
Casualwear Ltd capture a bigger share of the country’s nascent,
but fast-growing casual sportswear market.

“They are a fast growing business with a strong brand and
are well positioned to lead the domestic casual sportswear
market in China,” Sing Wang, co-chairman of TPG Greater China,
said in a statement.

TPG and rivals such as the Carlyle Group [CYU.UL] and the
Blackstone Group (BX.N: ) are stepping up investment in China to
take advantage of the country’s rapid growth and Beijing’s
support for the domestic private equity industry.

TPG, which had invested in Chinese firms including PC-maker
Lenovo (0992.HK: ), shoe-seller Daphne and supermarket chain
WuMart (8277.HK: ), announced plans in August to set up two
yuan-denominated funds in China, aiming to raise a combined 10
billion yuan ($1.5 billion).

China’s sports apparel market grew 34 percent annually
between 2005 and 2009, driven by rising wealth and sports events
such as the 2008 Olympic Games, but expenditure per capita is
still low compared with that of Japan and South Korea, according
to consultancy Frost & Sullivan.

China Vogue, based in the southeastern province of Fujian,
sells sportswear under the Sisulan brand through a network of
more than 1,000 self-owned and third-party-owned retail outlets,
which are mainly located in China’s less affluent second- and
third-tier cities.
($1=6.64 Yuan)

TPG invests $45 mln in China sportswear maker