Pizza Express just a tiny slice of China’s investment abroad

By John Weeks

In what might be termed “fusion finance”, a Chinese private equity company, Hony Capital, has purchased UK restaurant chain Pizza Express for £900m last month.

The roll call of British companies with partial Chinese ownership includes several household names such as Barclay’s Bank (Chinese capital holds 3%), BP (if you consider it British, 1%) and Thames Water (9%).

Over the past six years, Chinese companies raked in a net US$130 billion in assets through mergers and acquisitions (M&A in the jargon), and the Pizza Express deal is just a tiny slice of this.

The popular explanation for how it sustains such a huge surplus year-in, year-out is “cheap labour” – Chinese workers earn far less than workers in North America, Japan and Europe.

Chinese companies have been able to buy up these foreign assets due to the country’s massive export surplus.

Read more here: Business Spectator


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