Bain Sells Off Uniview / UNV, Sold to China Trans Info

By John Honovich, Published Apr 30, 2017, 12:00am EDT

Bain Capital has sold off Uniview to a Chinese company.

Uniview is the self-proclaimed "#3" in China video surveillance behind Hikvision and Dahua. In particular, Uniview has been known to many in the West for its uncommon ownership by American investment firm Bain.

Inside this note, we share Uniview's statement to IPVM on the deal, analyzing its potential impact for Uniview and the broader market.

Deal ********

**** **** ******* ** ******** Jiaozhi ************ **., ***** by ***** ***** **** [link ** ****** *********], a ******** ***** ******* (******.**) **** * ~$*.* billion ****** **************. *** price **** *** ******* was $***.* ******* *** (*** ***** ***** ****** on *** ****).

** **********, ******* **** ******** **** ****** **** a ***** ******:

**** ******* ** * well ***** ** (******* Equity) ****, *** ** a ****** ***********, *** supported ******* ** **** rapidly ** *** **** five *****. ** ***** of *** ******** ******** in *********/********** ******, *** fund ******* *** ******** and ****** *** ****. This **** ** ***** transfer ******** **** ******* a ***** ****** ** investment

Acquirer ********

***** *********, ** ******* pointed *** ** ****, is mainly ******* ** “***** Transportation” / ******* ********. Their**** ********* *********** ******* ** ~$*** million, ** **% **** over ****. **** ******* excludes *******. ******* *** said ********** **** ***** revenue *** ** *** *** hundred ******* ***** ******.

Benefits ** *** ****

******* **** **** *** deal ****** **** **** inside *** ******* ** China, ******:

*** *******, *** **** facilitates ****** *********** *** more ******** ************* ** China ****** *** ******** collaboration **** ********* *****. Moreover, ** ******* ******* to ****** ******* ** global ****** ** ***** of ********* ******* **** Transinfo *****.

********, ******* **** **** will ******** ** *** as ** *********** *** separate *******.

Uniview ************* ********

** *** ******** ****, Uniview *** **** ******** expanding *************** *** ****** on ******* *** ******* ****. ******* *** ******* similar ******* *** ******* to ***** *** ********* but ********* ****** *****, ***** is ** ********* *** many ******* ******* *** a **** ********** / less ********* ********* ****.

** *** ******** ****, Uniview's ********** **** ************* sales *** ********* ** nowhere ***** ** ***** nor *********. ******* *** minimal ****** / ***** staff ***** ***** *** Hikvision **** ******* ************* operations **** ******* ** local ***** ****** *** extensive ***** ********* *********. Because ** ****, ******* is ******** *********** ** the ******* *** ***** it *** *****. ** the ***** ****, *** sustainability ** ***** *** Hikvision's ********** **** **** expensive ***** ********** ** questionable. ***********, ***** *** current ********* ********** ****, Uniview **** ** ********** to **** *************** ******* their ******.

Outlook ** ****

** *** ****** **** China ***** **** *** an ******** ******** ***** business ** '***** **************' / ******* *******, **** could ** ********** ** the ******* ***** ***** surveillance ******* **** ******* focuses ** ***** *** two ******* *** ***** / *************.

*** *** ************* ****, we ** *** *** as **** ******** ***** ***** Transinfo *** ******* ************* operations, ***** ** ***** surveillance ******** ** **** Uniview. **********, ** ***** Transinfo *** ******* ********* to **** ******* **** internationally, **** ***** **** a ********** *** *** much **** ******* ******* to ** ****, ********** compared ** *** ******** resources ** ***** ****** video ************ ******.

Comments (14)

As a distributor of Uniview products, for right now this doesn't change anything for us. The irony is that we found out about the sale through one of our clients that read your article.  Cudos to IPVM for being on top of this.

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We've known about this for a month, because it was announced a month ago. I don't know if that makes you feel better or worse :)

We delayed on our end because there was a bunch of news items out of ISC West and then we waited a little bit to get a statement from Uniview to clarify details / their approach.

That noted, to your point, my gut feel is that things will remain mostly as before.

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This was a big selling point for Uniview. "Partly american owned". Nonetheless, still a good product.

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Huge selling point. Still manufactured and assembled overseas but clients liked knowing that they were owned by an American company even if they were a venture capital company. They weren't always going to stay under their ownership but it was nice to say. I'm interested to see how a company that specializes in transportation handles Uniview. If they leave them as their own entity? Incorporates what Uniview does with what they do? Or if they try to change Uniview? Either way, it will be interesting. Still not Chinese Government owned. lol
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Rich, you know for a fact that China Trans Info doesn't have any SOE ties? I don't have a clue, but I wouldn't be so naive to brush it off so quickly. It would be more rare if there wasn't some public money in that company.

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The top shareholders are listed in the 2016 financials I linked to in the post, excerpted below:

Net/net, the largest, by far, shareholder is the CEO / founder of the company at 28.94%.

Of the top 10 shareholders, the only one that is state owned is Beijing Telecom, which has 2.32% of China Trans Info shares.

JD, please spare us the trouble and yourself the embarrassment of arguing that 2% shares is 'ownership' or control as you have done in the past about Dahua.

More importantly, the bigger issue is that not having a Bain as an owner is a much bigger loss from an international marketing standpoint.

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This was a big selling point for Uniview. "Partly american owned".

Mum's the word.

 

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One other interesting point is the effective valuation of this deal - assume Uniview was in the ~$300 million range, as they historically have said, a $535 million purchase price is fairly, certainly for Chinese standard, where 5x revenue valuations is ordinary and China TransInfo has a ~7x sales multiple.

Anyone with any theories on why the purchase price was relatively low, please share.

That noted, probably still a prudent move by Bain to cash out.

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Personally i think it had connection with the Failing of go public(IPO in HongKong) at the end of 2015.After that,there are some employee left the company,so something is not recovered so fast.Then it may influence the purchase price.

 

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#2, could be, I don't know enough. It would be interesting to understand why they didn't go public. Lots of companies, even smaller than Uniview, like video surveillance manufacturer Kedacom, have gone public in China with rocketing stock prices after the launch.

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yes.Usually go to public success or not have connection with company  size or sales turnover.but not always like this.In China,there are other CCTV companies succeed in IPO.but sales turnover is smaller.sometimes it is  important for the guys tell a good idea or story during the road to IPO.Maybe UNV failed on that parts.Just kidding.i do not know details why they fail.

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Maybe because they are an honest company that doesn't feel going public is the right financial decision for the company or potential investors. An over-hyped IPO followed by a big drop would be an ugly setback.

Or maybe they are about to make a big push for the US market, and then go public after they emerge from the shadows and dominate Dahik with ease.

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We chose Uniview (over HIK) for our budget cameras when the customer doesn't care about quality but wants a cheap camera.

I chose them over Dahua and HIK only because at that time the latter two seemed to not care that they were going willy nilly all over the Internet with pricing etc, and Univew at least tried to protect it some and of course had US ownership.

The US part made me feel better about my purchases and I was unaware of the Chinese Govt. ownership of HIK at the time.

...may prompt me to look into other cheapo camera options..may not.

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There are other budget options like Messoa and ACTi. Don't know how they compare to the Chinese options.

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