Fast growing Swedish private equity firm EQT AB made a splash Wednesday with a deal to acquire one of Asia’s largest private equity firms. And with the stock popping on the news, Stockholm-based EQT now has seven billionaires, according to Forbes—nearly as many as Google or Facebook.
EQT shares jumped nearly 12% Wednesday on the news of the $7.5 billion deal to acquire Baring Private Equity Asia, a firm helmed by Hong Kong-based billionaire Jean Salata. The share price increase made billionaires of EQT partners Lennart Blecher and Per Franzén, along with CEO Christian Sinding, who are each worth around $1.1 billion, according to Forbes calculations as of market close on Wednesday. That’s in addition to four other billionaire EQT partners.
Baring, which has $19.5 billion in assets under management, will be sold for $1.7 billion in cash and 191 million new ordinary EQT shares. The deal is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Founder Conni Jonsson, former CEO Thomas von Koch, partner Harry Klagsbrun and Chief Operating Officer Caspar Callerström were already billionaires before the deal. Jonsson founded EQT in 1994 and it has since grown into the largest private equity firm in Sweden, with roughly 73.4 billion EUR ($81 billion) in assets under management. EQT primarily invests in private equity, but has also put funds into venture capital, real estate and infrastructure.
“Expanding our footprint in Asia is part of the strategic objectives we set out at the time of our IPO, and BPEA represents a unique opportunity, as a well-established and top-performing firm in the region, to enhance our global platform and position us to capitalize on the structural growth opportunity in Asian private markets,” Sinding said in a statement announcing the deal.
A spokesperson for EQT did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes.
EQT joins Google, Facebook, Chinese battery company Contemporary Amperex Technology (known as CATL) and Chinese food seasoning maker Foshan Haitian Flavouring & Food as part of a handful of companies that have minted a half dozen or more billionaires each. Google and Facebook have eight billionaires among their founders, executives and early investors. CATL and Foshan each have 9 billionaires, per Forbes research. EQT shares have more than tripled in value in over the past five years