Asia Private Equity Weekly News, February 6, 2012

HONG KONG, February 6 Sun Feb 5, 2012 10:29pm EST

HONG KONG, February 6 (Reuters) - News and developments in Asia private equity from Reuters News for the Lunar New Year and week ending Feb. 3.

FEBRUARY 3

HONG KONG'S Hutchison 3G will buy Orange Austria from France Telecom SA and Mid-Europa Partners in a deal valued at 1.3 billion euros ($1.7 billion) including debt, expanding the corporate footprint of Asia's richest man in Europe.

BLACKSTONE GROUP LP, the largest publicly listed alternative asset manager, reported lower fourth-quarter earnings as performance fees declined, but management fees increased from assets that grew to a record $137 billion.

FEBRUARY 2

ANALYSIS-It's the year's hottest initial public offering, but some wealth managers find themselves having a hard time recommending Facebook to their clients.

PRIVATE EQUITY firm TPG Capital LP has held initial discussions with a group of eight banks to fund a takeover bid for Australian underwear maker Pacific Brands Ltd, according to a source familiar with the matter.

THE U.S. private equity industry's lobbying group said on Thursday that it has launched a campaign to tackle what it called a lack of understanding of the industry in the face of attacks on Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney.

CHINA INVESTMENT Corp (CIC) has acquired a minority stake in Washington-based asset manager EIG Global Energy Partners, the latest energy-related investment from China's $410 billion sovereign wealth fund.

LOS ANGELES-based media and communications investment firm Saban Capital Group, which has Asia investments including Media Nusantara Citra PT and China's Taomee Holdings Ltd , said it has opened a Hong Kong office led by Sumeet Jaisinghani.

FEBRUARY 1

CARLYLE GROUP and Warburg Pincus LLC took advantage of India's recent market gains to pare stakes in two financial companies in deals worth $440 million, a sign of investor wariness about the sustainability of the rally.

CARYLE SOLD about 20 million shares of Housing Development Finance Corp Ltd in market deals on Wednesday, the chief executive of the Indian mortgage lender said, citing market sources.

WARBURG PINCUS sold about 17.5 million shares in India's Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd via stock market deals to raise about $170 million, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

A UNIT of the Swire group of companies, a Hong Kong conglomerate with interests ranging from properties to airlines, is among bidders for electronics and furniture retailer Courts Asia Ltd, two sources close to the matter said, an asset that could fetch close to $400 million.

UNITAS CAPITAL has acquired Carlyle's stake in China restaurant chain Babela Group, said a source familiar with the matter, in a small deal but one that underscores the tough exit conditions for private equity investors.

BAIN CAPITAL and Unitas are among suitors to submit second-round bids to buy Prestolite Electric Inc from First Atlantic, two sources told Reuters, in a deal worth about $400 million.

INDIAN MICROFINANCE company Ujjivan Financial Services said on Wednesday that it has raised $25.5 million by diluting a minority holding in the company to private equity funds including Netherlands Development Finance Co, Wolfensohn Capital Partners and existing investors.

JANUARY 30

JAPAN'S ORIX Corp has dropped out of the race to buy software developer Yayoi, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday, which could be a blow to MBK Partners' plan to sell the business.

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