In Focus
MARKETS & INVESTING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Temasek focused on tech, life sciences, and agribusiness for new investments in 2018

They comprised 26% of its total portfolio value.

Temasek Holdings invested a total of $29b in new and mature companies for 2018, 81.25% higher than its $16b investment last year. It focused its new investments on the technology, life sciences, agribusiness, non-bank financial services, and consumer sectors.

According to its annual report, these sectors now constitute 26% of its portfolio, up from a 5% share of a smaller portfolio in 2011. “Technology companies with distinct competitive advantages remain a key focus,” it said.

Amongst the companies it invested in, it cited Global Healthcare Exchange, which provides an electronic trading exchange and cloud-based supply chain software for healthcare providers and suppliers and Tencent, which gives it exposure in China to online social networking, entertainment and games.

Temasek also invested in BluJay, a provider of supply chain execution software solutions for the logistics sector; Intapp, a growing vertical software provider focusing on business applications for the legal industry; ams AG, a leading analogue semiconductor platform focused on sensor solutions; and Internet Brands, an operator of a portfolio of health websites.

The investment firm’s focus in financial services was in the non-banking sub-sectors, with a growing exposure in the payments space through the global networks of Visa and Mastercard. It invested in Adyen, a technology-enabled global payment services company; and Worldpay, a company enabling businesses to accept online, mobile and point-of-sale payments.

Within the life sciences sector, Temasek’s investments included Tessa Therapeutics, a Singapore-based biotech company developing cell therapy for treatment of cancer; and Pear Therapeutics, a US-based digital therapeutics company that delivers reimbursable, regulated and prescription software to treat behavioural health and other diseases.

Agribusiness firms that got a share of Temasek’s wealth in 2018 were Boortmalt, a producer of premium malt ingredients, and Farmer’s Business Network, an agriculture analytics platform for farmers.

The US again accounted for the largest share of Temasek’s new investments during the year. “We invested in DowDuPont, a global diversified chemicals and agriculture company; and Boeing, an aerospace company,” it said.

Investments in Europe included Airbus SE, a manufacturer of aircraft, helicopters and defence equipment; Legrand, a global supplier of low voltage electrical equipment; Busy Bees, a provider of childcare and early education services with 500 nurseries; and Sportswear Company, which manufactures casual premium menswear under the brand Stone Island.

Its new investments in China are in Midea Group, the country’s largest automation-enabled home appliance company; and WuXi NextCODE, which offers tools and services globally for generating, managing and analysing genomic data.

After March 2018, Temasek made a major investment in Bayer, a European life sciences company with global market leadership in crop science. It also partnered Schneider Electric India in the proposed merger of their Low Voltage & Industrial Automation products business with Larson & Toubro’s Electrical and Automation division; and participated in the Series C equity financing of Ant Financial, a China-based fintech company that operates the flagship Alipay payments platform.

In 2017, Temasek invested in several innovative early-stage companies in agriculture, healthcare, and digital media. Synthetic biology is an emerging focus, especially for sustainable food production.

Temasek also highlighted its divestments, which reached $16b in 2018, 11.11% lower than $18b last year.

It sold its position in Dufry and Gaztransport & Technigaz and partially divested Celltrion Inc and Celltrion Healthcare, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Danamon and Burger King Brazil, whilst continuing to retain significant exposures in each of them. 

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