D.he Swiss holding company Capvis considers the Asia-Pacific trade agreement that has just been concluded to be underestimated. “The fact that China is now forming a free trade zone with countries like Japan, Australia, Korea and Canada is changing the prospects for global trade considerably. In recent years it has become more and more difficult to export goods from factories in China to surrounding countries, ”says Daniel Flaig, partner at Capvis AG.
That will change with the agreement, China’s attractiveness as a production and export location will grow. “The new Asia-Pacific free trade area will be the boom region in the world for the next twenty years,” Flaig said before his company’s general meeting this Tuesday. That is why Capvis likes to invest in “hidden champions” from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, who particularly benefit from them.
In conversation with the F.A.Z. Flaig names another trend he is observing. “The share of capital goods in world gross domestic product will decrease, the share of consumption will increase, spurred on by the middle class in the emerging Asian countries.” In China, too, a long “workbench” for many companies, more is being consumed while companies are investing no longer expanded as much as in the past.
Flaig is convinced that he did not miss the right time to invest, albeit slowed down by the recessions triggered by Corona. That was – in retrospect, it’s easy to say – at least in the medium term on the stock exchanges in March 2020, when the Dax fell to less than 8,500 points due to the first lockdown – today the Dax is despite the second lockdown, driven by monetary and fiscal policy support measures, to 13,000 points.
M&A market more stable than stock market
Unlike on the stock exchange, there were no panic or distress sales in the market for company acquisitions and takeovers (M&A) in March 2020, says Flaig. “The players in the M&A market simply act more slowly than on the stock exchange when there is a breakdown of this kind because of the higher transaction costs.”
Because of the rapid support measures, no more opportunities comparable to previous crises would have arisen. Capvis has continuously invested and recently acquired stakes in the Tertianum retirement home group and in the software service provider BSI in Switzerland and in the agricultural machinery manufacturer Arag in Italy.
Capvis AG emerged from the Swiss Bank Corporation (today UBS) and initially operated under the name SBC Equity Partners when it was founded. Since they were founded, the funds advised by Capvis have invested in around 60 companies with a total volume of around 3.5 billion euros.