Pacific Century Group
Pacific Century Group (PCG), chaired by Richard Li, is an Asia-based private investment group founded in 1993 with interests in technology, media and telecommunications (TMT), financial services, infrastructure, property and other investments. It operates mainly in the Asia-Pacific region, including Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan.
Its subsidiaries include Pacific Century Cyberworks, the holding company of the Hong Kong Telecommunications Limited (HKT) and through which it has a majority interest in Pacific Century Premium Developments Limited. Pacific Century Group also owns a majority interest in PineBridge Investments.
Richard Li first became interested in the TMT space in 1989 when he foresaw the opportunity for the creative development of information and home entertainment services in Asia and set-up STAR TV, Asia's first satellite-delivered cable-TV service. By 1993 STAR TV had a viewer base of 45 million. In 1993, Richard Li sold STAR TV to Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation in 2 tranches for around US$1.0 billion, achieving a return of 9x over 3 years, and went on to form Pacific Century Group (PCG) and Pacific Century CyberWorks (PCCW).
PCCW is the largest telecommunications and IT solutions provider in Hong Kong, operating fixed-line, broadband internet, mobile and TV services. It launched the world's first major IPTV service, now TV, in 2003; today it is the world's largest commercial deployment, accounting for a fifth of all IPTV subscribers worldwide. In 2006, the company launched its 3G service in Hong Kong and delivered the world's first real-time broadcast mobile TV service to 3G users.
PCG has a strong track record of holding and developing assets over the long term, and has a network of well-established connections in Asia. Its first foray into financial services came from the acquisition of Pacific Century Insurance ("PCI") in 1994. PCI was listed on the stock exchange of Hong Kong in 1999. By 2007, PCI was the sixth largest life insurer in Hong Kong. PCI Investment Management was included in this statistic. Between 2000 and 2007 this company's assets increased seven-fold and the firm received numerous awards from Standard & Poor's, as well as Lipper. Having grown the business in Hong Kong into a public company with a strong agency force and sound financial performance, there were limited opportunities for expansion in Asia at that time. In 2007, PCI was sold to Fortis to better position the business for the next phase of growth as part of a broader international platform.
In February 2013, PCG announced the acquisition of the Hong Kong, Macau and Thailand insurance businesses from ING Groep N.V. (ING). PCG has said that these acquisitions are the first step in its plan to develop a world class pan-Asian insurance business to capitalise on the long-term potential of the insurance sector. The total cash consideration of the acquisition was US$2.14 billion (EUR 1.64 billion).
PCG acquired AIG's asset management operations, AIG Investments, in 2010. It was then renamed PineBridge Investments (PineBridge) and was restructured. Later that year, the former CEO of Standard Chartered and UK trade minister Lord Mervyn Davies of Abersoch was named as the chairman. The CEO in 2012 was David Jiang and as of 2016 is Greg Ehret (formerly of State Street Capital in Boston MA USA). PineBridge operated in over 20 countries and managed over US$72 billion of assets as at 31 December 2012. By June 2013, PineBridge Investments assets had more than doubled in value since their levels at 2010.
In 2012, PineBridge formed a joint venture with the Polish postal company, Integer.pl Group, which saw the firms win the Diamond of Private Equity 2013 award. The two companies formed a parcel-handling system called Easypack and both companies invested 50 million euros and 58 million euros respectively.
In January 2013, PineBridge agreed to make an equity investment of 26 million euros in Work Service, the leading temporary staffing and personnel outsourcing company in Poland. In October 2012, PineBridge increased its stake in ProMedica24, a household services and elderly care company based in Poland and Germany, from 50% to 75%. In July 2012, PineBridge announced it would be establishing a Middle East and North Africa headquarters in Bahrain. In May 2012, PineBridge's Chinese joint venture, Huatai-PineBridge Fund Management Co raised $5.3 billion in its initial public offering.
- Bloomberg (29 March 2010). "PineBridge Investments' Sale to Pacific Century Group Complete". Bloomberg.
- "White & Case Advises Pacific Century Group on Closing of AIG Investment Advisory and Asset Management Purchase". White & Case. 29 March 2010.
- PCCW stock becomes value number, International: SCMP.com, 2012
- PineBridge Investments' Sale to Pacific Century Group Complete, International: Bloomberg, 2010
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- Juliana Liu (20 July 2011). "Rupert Murdoch's Chinese dreams never became a reality". BBC.
- Christopher W. Runckel (December 1999). "Interview with Richard Li of Hong Kong". Runckel & Associates.
- Telecom Asia (November 2007). "News Map". Telecom Asia.
- "IPTV: PCCW Successfully Banks on Content". Pyramid Research.
- it20.hk. "Richard Li Tzar Kai". it20.hk.
- TeleGeography (16 May 2006). "PCCW launches trial of CMB-based 3G mobile TV service". TeleGeography.
- Fortis (1 March 2007). "Fortis to acquire a majority stake in Pacific Century Insurance ("PCI")". Fortis.
- PCI (8 November 2004). "Pacific Century Insurance performs well in Q3". PCI.
- PR/Newswire (27 October 1999). "S&P Assigns 'Bpi' Rating to Pacifc Century Insurance". PR Newswire.
- ING (25 March 2013). "ING Life Insurance Company (Bermuda) Limited". ING.
- Reuters (28 February 2007). "Fortis aims to buy Pacific Century Insurance -source". Reuters.
- Reuters (28 February 2013). "ING Groep NV Completes Sale of Insurance Units in Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand". Reuters.
- PineBridge assets double in two years, Kenya: The Star (Kenya), 2013
- Diamond of Private Equity 2013 for PineBridge Investments and Integer.pl Group, United Kingdom: 4-traders.com, 2013
- PineBridge Investments to Invest €26 Million in Work Service, US: Yahoo! Finance, 2013
- PineBridge acquires additional 25 per cent stake in Promedica24, US: Private Equity Wire, 2012
- PINEBRIDGE TO ESTABLISH MENA HQ IN BAHRAIN, Europe: Funds-Europe.com, 2012
- Huatai-PineBridge Completes US$5.3 billion Exchange Traded Fund Initial Public Offering, United Kingdom: BusinessWire, 2012