Singapore billionaire Peter Lim said to have hired LVMH private equity's Christina Teo

SINGAPORE (Bloomberg) - Singapore billionaire Peter Lim, who owns Spain's Valencia football team, has hired Christina Teo from LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton's private-equity arm to run a new investment unit, people familiar with the matter said.

Ms Teo, who was a managing director at L Capital Asia, joined Mr Lim's Singapore-based Catpital Pte this month as chief executive officer, the people said. She will source overseas investments for the billionaire, as well as increase value at some of his existing portfolio companies, one person said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.

Mr Lim, a former stockbroker, made his fortune through holdings in palm oil producers and a chain of Manchester United cafes in Asia. He also has stakes in supercar maker McLaren Automotive, Singapore property developer Rowsley and security provider Soverus Group.

Catpital may seek investments in Europe, where valuations have fallen, focusing on industries where Mr Lim has experience, such as sports, automobiles, healthcare and hospitality, one person said.

Ms Teo left L Capital Asia effective March 31 to pursue alternative career options, the firm's human resources director, Ms Annie Chee, said in an e-mailed statement.

Last year, Mr Lim spent 420 million euros (S$619.87 million) to acquire Valencia. In 2011, he took healthcare provider Thomson Medical Centre private for $522 million, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Ms Teo, a former director at Deutsche Bank, had been with L Capital Asia since 2012, leading its investments in South-east Asia, Australia and New Zealand. The private-equity firm last year bought stakes in the Crystal Jade Culinary Concepts Holding restaurant chain, known for its steamed dumplings and spicy noodles, and Ku De Ta Group, which operates the 57th-floor bar at the top of Singapore's Marina Bay Sands hotel.