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Committed to Asia's Corporate Services: Capricorn Capital makes its second APAC acquisition

"We are pleased to announce our acquisition of Ethos, a HK based trust and corporate service provider. This transaction was executed at the height of the Covid-19 turmoil.
The ability of all parties to navigate individual challenges, and still come to the table with the commitment to see the deal through, is a testament to the quality of service that they will continue to provide.

We are looking forward to working with the Ethos team to take the business to new heights"


Capricorn Capital has acquired Ethos (Hong Kong) Limited, marking its second acquisition in the corporate services sector.

27 April 2020—Hong Kong—Capricorn Capital Partners HK Limited, the Hong Kong arm of family-owned global direct private investment firm Capricorn Capital Group, has acquired Ethos (Hong Kong) Limited. The purchase marks its second acquisition in Asia and further demonstrates the firm’s long-term commitment to corporate services in the region.

Bringing the best together

Founded by Australian Richard Watson in 2013, Ethos provides company formation, administrative, secretarial, accounting, trade and trust services. Capricorn intends to merge the business with A-Pass—a Hong Kong-based boutique corporate services firm it acquired in 2019—to offer an even more robust suite of services to clients across APAC.

“Ethos is well respected for good reason,” says Robin Harris, Capricorn’s Hong Kong-based Managing Director. “Under Richard’s strong leadership, its focused team provided quality professional services akin to those offered by large global firms, but with greater agility, flexibility and a more personal approach.”

Capricorn’s acquisition of Ethos will see its team combine their skillsets and expertise with those of the A-Pass team. Richard Watson will join the A-Pass Board.

A Triumph of cooperation in turbulent times

This transaction is even more exceptional due to the fact that it was executed at the height of the Covid-19 turmoil. The ability of all parties to navigate individual challenges, and still come to the table with the commitment to see the deal through, is a testament to the quality of service that they will continue to provide.

“This is a very exciting new direction for Ethos,” says Richard Watson. “For over seven years, I have proudly steered the company as it has grown from strength to strength. We now have the opportunity to benefit from new ideas and investment. I have seen first-hand the positive impact that the support of a strong partner can have on a business, and I look forward to working with Capricorn to take ours to new heights.”

Future potential

While corporate in form, Capricorn differentiates itself from traditional private equity buyers by maintaining an entrepreneurial partnership-focused mindset and patient capital. The firm believes there is immense potential in the mid-size corporate services segment: “These companies need capital to grow, but don’t want to be swallowed up, gutted, or passed around,” says Robin Harris. “As the markets of Asia Pacific continue to grow rapidly—attracting new companies to the region—so too does the market for high-quality corporate services.” Capricorn Capital is motivated to help strong local businesses build strong local businesses and anticipates similar acquisitions in the future.

ABOUT CAPRICORN CAPITAL GROUP

Capricorn Capital Group is a family-owned international private investment firm with offices in Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Malta and London. The firm’s approach and investment philosophy is grounded in family values. It continues to build intergenerational businesses and teams that develop long-term value.

Founded in 1994, Capricorn Capital started as the private equity sector of the Hollard Insurance Group, a global insurance business and South Africa’s largest privately-owned insurance company. In 2003, Capricorn Capital Partners was formed as a separate business. It opened its first Asian office in Hong Kong in 2015.

Capricorn Capital Group is an associate of Yellowwoods, whose global investments include Clientele, a leading direct insurance business; Nando’s, a successful international restaurant group; Auto & General, known today as Budget Group; Spier Wine Farm and Hotel; and &Beyond, luxury game lodges across the globe.