BEIJING, China & TEL AVIV, Israel, May 20, 2010 -- Infinity I-China, a leader in Chinese international RMB funds, announced today its entry into the water clean tech sector through a US$5 million investment in United Water Corporation (UW). The investment is part of a B financing round for the company. Existing UW investor Blue Ridge China Partners L.P., one of the most active funds in China, also participated.
"Less than half of China's more than 600 cities do not have a wastewater treatment facility and just under half have an insufficient supply of water with around 100 facing serious shortages. For this reason, China is currently engaged in a major push to construct a strong water waste infrastructure across the country. We want to be a part of this push. By backing a smaller but growing company like UW which is focused on China's second and third tier cities, rather than a larger organization working in China's bigger cities, Infinity will be better positioned to make a noticeable difference in the process and progress of this effort," said Ariel Poppel, managing director of finance at Infinity I-China and the lead broker of this investment.
United Water owns and operates water supply and wastewater treatment utilities in China. The business was established in 2003 with the aim to acquire water utilities being privatized in China. Currently United Water owns and operates four major water utilities located in Suqian City (Jiangsu province), Tongxiang (Zhejiang province), Suizhou (Hubei Province) and Xianning (Hubei Province).
The financing will be used to merge new water facilities. Infinity's involvement is also intended to create opportunities in the Chinese market for Israeli water clean tech technologies.
"This marks another milestone in United Water's drive to become a leading player in China's water industry. Infinity not only brings capital to aid our expansion but also access to technology through its network and relationships with Israeli water treatment companies. Israel is one of the leading nations in both water conservation and water treatment technologies and we will actively work with Infinity to find opportunities to utilize such technologies for the benefit of China's water industry. The follow up investment by Blue Ridge China demonstrates their continued support for the Company," said Phillip Yu, president of United Water Corporation.
"The expected growth in the water market will enable UW to execute its strategic plan to increase revenues and improve profitability. In addition, through Infinity, UW now has unique and valuable access to Israeli water technology companies. UW management has already visited Israel and has begun exploring cooperation with cutting edge Israeli water technology companies," said Mr. Amir Gal-Or, managing partner at Infinity I-China.
Gal-Or continued, "The crux of Infinity's added value remains grounded in its many strong friendships, high level associations throughout China and its resulting ability to create solid partnerships, creative deals and impressive ROIs. With each step, our team continues to expand and our influence continues to grow. This is evidenced by the March 2010 announcement of Infinity's six new JV funds throughout the country as well as the recent senior delegation visit to China, hosted by Infinity and led by Avi Fischer, the chairman of Infinity I-China, the co-CEO of Clal Industries and Investments and the Deputy Chairman of IDB Group. In line with our mandate to open doors for non-Chinese entities wishing to do business in China, we introduced senior businessmen to the heads of four provinces and the head of the China Development Bank. In addition, as part of Infinity's strong interest in water, agriculture and energy, the delegation visited Beijing Capital Group, among other sites."
About Infinity I-China
Infinity I-China, the largest China-Israel fund and the second China-Israel fund of Infinity Group, was founded by Clal Industries and Investments Ltd. from IDB Group, China Development Bank and CSVC. Infinity Group currently manages more than US$700 million through nine funds, seven in China. It has a portfolio of 45 companies and has made 20 successful exits. Infinity I-China serves as a bridge for Chinese companies that want to integrate technology and know-how to compete internationally and non-Chinese companies, with proven technology, seeking to capitalize on the Chinese market. Sectors of focus include: medical device, pharma and healthcare services, information technology, agriculture, materials, as well as water and clean technology and energy. Recent high profile activities include the exit from Teledata Networks that marked the fourth China rated exit, following those from Shellcase, Nanomotion and the partial exit from Digital China that produced a 3x return in less than one year. In addition, in May 2010, Infinity achieved a 2.6x return from its investment in agritech company FuturaGene, upon its acquisition by Brazil's Suzano. Infinity has also assumed proactive leadership of Power Paper, developer of micro-power, clean, printable power sources. Infinity has offices in Tel Aviv, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Harbin, Shijiazhuang, Changzhou, Ningbo, Tianjin and New York. For more information: www.infinity-equity.com or please contact Marjie Hadad at [email protected] or call +972-54-536-5220.