GIC, Bain Capital, Advent buy stake in QuEST Global

GIC has jointly invested US$350 million for a minority stake in Indian engineering services firm QuEST Global.
GIC has jointly invested US$350 million for a minority stake in Indian engineering services firm QuEST Global. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

Sovereign wealth fund GIC has jointly invested US$350 million (S$492 million) for a minority stake in Indian engineering services firm QuEST Global.

The investment firm is partnering Bain Capital and Advent International in the venture, QuEST Global said on Thursday night. Each investor has taken a sizeable amount of the stake, which comprises a 26 per cent holding sold by Warburg Pincus and a smaller slice divested by other early-stage shareholders, The Straits Times understands.

QuEST Global moved its headquarters to Singapore in 2010, and plans to grow here by acquiring a local engineering services firm.

"One of our visions is to make a small acquisition in Singapore, and from there we can expand," QuEST Global chief financial officer Rajendra Kumar Shreemal told The Straits Times yesterday. "The local talent that we get is very important... There are very few (engineering services) companies here in Singapore, and we have looked at it but we have not found the right fit yet."

With six acquisitions to date and more in the pipeline, QuEST Global's revenue has grown 30 per cent each year for the last 15 years to reach US$385 million last year.

The aim is to reach US$1 billion in turnover by 2020, said the Singapore-based Mr Shreemal. "GIC being the new investor, we are hopeful of growing much more in Singapore."

QuEST Global provides outsourced engineering services, with the Singapore team focusing on the oil and gas and aerospace industries. Clients here include Rolls-Royce, Halliburton and Baker Hughes.

The firm has about 50 employees, including 45 engineers here and 7,800 employees worldwide.

Mr Maverick Wong, GIC's head of Asia private equity, said in a statement: "GIC is confident of QuEST's capability to provide engineering services across all stages of the product development life cycle. QuEST's local-global approach enables its clients to achieve cost-effective solutions for their complex engineering needs."

The deal was closed after a competitive bidding process and values QuEST Global at just over US$1 billion. Credit Suisse was the sole financial adviser to QuEST Global.

Marissa Lee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2016, with the headline 'GIC, Bain Capital, Advent buy stake in QuEST Global'. Print Edition | Subscribe