This story appears in the February/March 2023 issue of Forbes Asia. Subscribe to Forbes Asia
This story is part of Forbes’ coverage of Hong Kong’s Richest 2023. See the full list here.
Private equity billionaire Jean Salata is the biggest gainer in percentage terms this year, thanks to a blockbuster $6.7 billion deal in which he sold his Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA) to Stockholm-based EQT, Europe’s largest listed private equity group. His net worth doubled to $5.9 billion following the acquisition.
In October, EQT completed the buyout for $1.7 billion in cash and 191.2 million new EQT shares listed in Stockholm. Salata is now the firm’s third-largest shareholder after Investor AB, the investment vehicle of Sweden’s powerful Wallenberg banking family, and Bark Partners AB, which was formed by billionaire and EQT founder Conni Jonsson and three other EQT executives. Salata—a Chilean national living and working in Hong Kong since 1989—now heads the combined Asian operations of Baring Private Equity Asia and EQT, which have been rebranded BPEA EQT.
A month earlier BPEA had closed a new fund totaling $11.2 billion, one of the largest private equity funds ever raised by an Asia-based private equity firm. Among its chief aims is increasing investment in the region’s technology sector. Technology services accounted for a third of BPEA’s portfolio, and Salata sees no signs of deceleration in the sector. The fund also targets larger deals, typically with $1 billion enterprise value, marking EQT’s first step into Asia’s larger-cap arena.
Salata, a father of four, takes a personal interest in sustainability. In June, he and his wife Melanie donated $200 million to establish the Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability at Harvard University. The donation earned the couple a spot on Forbes Asia’s Heroes of Philanthropy list last year.
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