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PRIVATE equity deals inked in the Asia-Pacific region hit an all-time high of US$81 billion last year, topping the previous mark of US$77 billion in 2007, according to Bain & Company.
The number of deals grew 14 per cent to 742, and average deal size increased to US$110 million, from US$77 million in 2013.
Temasek Holdings claimed the region's biggest deal with its US$5.7 billion investment in Hong Kong-based beauty retailer AS Watson Group. A Temasek-led consortium also paid US$1.2 billion to buy an additional stake of agribusiness company Olam International in Singapore.
China, Asia-Pacific's largest market, roared back to life in 2014 after a hiatus in 2013 as deal value reached US$41 billion, a 33 per cent jump from the market's previous peak in 2011.
Six mega-deals in China, larger than US$1 billion, accounted for most of the investment growth. The number of transactions also rose 30 per cent from China's five-year average to 350. Exit value, bolstered by Alibaba's US$25 billion IPO, surged to US$61 billion, more than triple 2013's value.
Singapore-led activity, producing two mega-deals worth US$2.3 billion, helped push South-east Asia's overall investment value to US$5.9 billion, slightly better than 2013, but still 7 per cent below the five-year average.