Asia watch, March 5, 2007

D.E. Shaw to expand in China

D.E. Shaw & Co.

announced last week that it plans to expand its private equity efforts in China.

The New York-based hedge fund investor hired veteran investment banker Liang Meng as CEO of the new Greater China buyout unit and plans to begin operations there shortly. Meng was previously managing director and co-head of China investment banking at J.P. Morgan Securities.

The firm did not disclose how much capital it plans to invest in the region.

D.E. Shaw, founded in 1988, is known for its hedge funds activity, but it has expanded in recent years by participating directly in venture capital and buyout deals.

SK Telecom partners with BlueRun

SK Telecom, a South Korean-based mobile service provider, has formed a strategic alliance with BlueRun Ventures to invest in communications and IT companies.

SK Telecom and BlueRun Ventures announced their alliance in Barcelona, Spain, during the international tech trade show 3GSM World Congress 2007.

BlueRun Ventures, formed by mobile handset maker Nokia Corp. in 1998, was formerly called Nokia Venture Partners.

Intel backs Taiwan’s Powertech

Intel Capital

has agreed to invest $65 million in Powertech Technology Inc., a Taiwan-based company that provides back-end assembly and test services for memory chip companies. Powertech also expects to receive additional funds from other investors, according to a joint statement.