Fresh off a $460 million investment in Yum Brands' China operations along with Ant Financial, Primavera's founder and one of China's most influential dealmakers Fred Hu believes "there's a lot of irrational fear and anxiety about China buying up the world. The fact is that China still punches below its weight as an investor overseas."
A former Goldman Sachs China chairman, Hu brokered the Wall Street titan's $2.9 billion stake purchase in the world's largest bank, ICBC, before its huge 2006 public listing. And thanks to close ties with Jack Ma, Primavera also managed to buy shares in Alibaba before its record-setting IPO in New York. Recently Primavera Capital made financial news headlines as Anbang's investment partner in its failed $14 billion bid to buy Starwood Hotels & Resorts away from Marriott International.
Hu says that for their part, Chinese companies looking for overseas acquisitions also need "to be more thoughtful and really understand the host country's rules, regulations and sensitivities. And do business in a world-class way. This will take time."
Primavera's founder says the U.S. provides a lot of opportunities and of course the group is very interested in making future investments. Hu says, "The consumer sector, the services sector, technology sector … there is just a lot more opportunity in the U.S. maybe than in China or Asia more broadly."