We established Ascendent Capital with a clear goal: to use our professional expertise and network to serve companies, using capital as the bridge to help companies develop growth opportunities and realize strategic transformations. With that vision, in April 2011, we decided to venture outside of our comfort zone, and start anew with Ascendent Capital. Since our inception a decade ago , we have had the privilege to support and partner with numerous companies to successfully scale, generate value to their shareholders and employees, and at the same time deliver exceptional returns to our investors. Having closed our third fund, Ascendent Capital currently manages $2.5 billion in assets for global institutional investors. We are truly grateful for all the trust and support from our friends and partners over the past decade.
During the same period, the Chinese economy has progressed and become increasingly driven by consumption, at the same time, technological advances have propelled companies to re-invent themselves more rapidly in an ever-changing environment, including most recently facing unexpected challenges brought by the pandemic. Ascendent’s unique “advice + solution” investment strategy has enabled us to perform consistently through investment cycles, guiding businesses through peaks and troughs:
Our approach as a trusted advisor and investment partner cultivates win-win investment opportunities. Rather than focusing solely on monetary return, we establish close and long-standing partnerships with entrepreneurs, drive strategic initiatives, develop insightful research and innovative investment ideas, build mutual trust, and create solutions beneficial to all stakeholders. In most of our investments, Ascendent is the lead and largest external investor, providing strategic advice and generating value creation ideas for businesses.
We excel in identifying event-driven investment opportunities. Leveraging our in-depth research on China’s demographic and macroeconomic trends, we have focused on four key sectors since the inception of the fund: consumer, healthcare, education, and advanced manufacturing. Based on our research of the consumption upgrade trend, we participated in two rounds of the financing of Meituan Dianping, and contributed to the company as they achieved key milestones: we advised Dianping on the merger process with Meituan, which resulted in the Company becoming the largest domestic lifestyle services and on-demand delivery platform globally; we also advised on and subsequently delivered exceptional returns on its listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. In addition, based on our confidence in the long-term prospects of China’s high speed rail industry, we acquired a high speed railway component manufacturer following the Wenzhou rail incident. Our judgment was subsequently proven correct: industry fundamentals and valuation recovered, and we were able to achieve returns of over 5x.
Our advisory model is grounded by in-depth industry research and post-investment involvement, providing strategic guidance, as well as hands-on assistance to portfolio companies to execute value-creation initiatives. Leveraging our extensive research and post-investment value-add capabilities, we were one of the rare managers to have executed buyout investments since Fund I. To date, we have closed six control buyouts in the consumption, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing sectors. Ascendent played an active role in the strategic positioning and corporate governance, and as a result, all six portfolio companies have achieved 3x net profit growth within 4 years.
We adopt an innovative investment approach and customized structuring to our investments, and help our companies establish and optimize their financial structure. We advised Wumart on their acquisition of Metro China and worked closely with the management team to complete the investment, playing a key role in this consolidation milestone in the Chinese fresh grocery sector.
As we turn the page to a new decade for the firm, despite global macroeconomic uncertainties, we face the future with confidence, on the strength of our differentiated strategy, systematic approach, and talent of the team. Our disciplined, research-driven, value-oriented investment philosophy will enable us to discover outstanding investment opportunities and work in partnership with traditional companies to incorporate new business models and technologies, and generate outperformance for our investors.
We would like to extend our gratitude to all the entrepreneurs, investors and team members who have been part of our journey. We would not be able to achieve what we have without your trust, hard work, and partnership. We hope to continue our success with you for decades to come.