Asia Private Equity Weekly News, February 20, 2012

HONG KONG, February 20 Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:38pm EST

HONG KONG, February 20 (Reuters) - News and developments in Asia private equity from Reuters News for Lunar New Year and the week ending Feb. 17.

FEBRUARY 17

CARLYLE GROUP has begun the process of selling its over $300 million stake in Taiwan's Ta Chong Bank Ltd, sources said, as it joins other private equity firms in looking to exit the island's low-margin financial sector.

MMI INTERNATIONAL, a technology company owned by private equity fund KKR & Co LP, will price its $300 million five-year bond at 8 percent in New York, the bottom end of price guidance, after receiving strong support from U.S. investors, according to a source familiar with the matter.

AUSTRALIAN SURFWEAR company Billabong International rebuffed a $820 million private equity bid from TPG Capital , announcing plans to sell a stake in its Nixon watch brand and close up to 150 stores, sending its shares up by more than 50 percent.

CHINA HAS launched a 50 billion yuan ($7.93 billion) fund in Shanghai to aid overseas acquisitions by Chinese companies as part of efforts to promote international use of the yuan and build the commercial hub into a global financial center.

HANA FINANCIAL Group said that it had reached a deal with the labour union of Korea Exchange Bank (KEB) which had threatened to strike over possible job losses following Hana's acquisition of KEB.

FEBRUARY 16

WINS INVESTMENT, the fund arm of Chinese property developer Gemdale, says it plans to double funds under management to take advantage of a government clampdown on property financing that could see smaller developers starved of funds.

L CAPITAL Asia, the private equity arm of the world's biggest luxury goods group LVMH Mo√ęt Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA , could begin raising a new fund of more than $1 billion this year, as competition from Western brands creates opportunities to invest in Chinese retailers, its top executive said.

CANADA PENSION Plan Investment Board, which manages the country's second largest pension fund, has hired former Goldman Sachs banker Mark Machin to head its Asia-Pacific business, according to a source close to the matter.

FEBRUARY 15

L CAPITAL has bought the 8 percent stake held by Wolfensohn Capital Partners in unlisted Indian ethnic wear chain Fabindia, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

SOUTH KOREA'S National Pension Service (NPS), the world's No.4 largest pension fund, plans to invest around $300 million in a real estate opportunity fund led by Blackstone Group , an NPS official said, amid the fund's efforts to step up its investments in real estate assets.

U.S PRIVATE equity fund Norwest Venture Partners has invested $15 million in Manthan Systems, an unlisted Indian software products company, for a minority stake, the Indian company said on Wednesday.

WANT WANT China Holdings, the buyer of private equity fund MBK Partners' Taiwan cable TV unit, will have to give more information to the island's broadcast regulator concerning its media operations, the latest delay in the $2.4 billion deal.

JAPANESE PRIVATE equity secondary fund Ant Capital Partners said it closed its third Japanese secondaries fund at the end of December 2011 raising $140 million, attracting commitments from 15 Japanese institutional investors.

SOUTH KOREA'S SK Group is in talks to take over U.S. oil and gas company Chaparral Energy, a company 36 percent owned by CCMP, according to a source familiar with the matter.

FEBRUARY 14

TALKS BETWEEN Yahoo Inc and China's Alibaba Group over the U.S. Internet giant's Asian assets have hit an impasse, throwing their plans for a $17 billion tax-free asset swap into question, according to sources briefed on the situation.

CARLYLE SAID it would sell Talaris, a provider of cash-counting equipment, to Japan's Glory Ltd for 650 million pounds ($1 billion), twice the value of its original investment.

INDONESIA WILL not implement a planned regulation to limit ownership in domestic banks, since it does not want to scare away potential foreign investors from the sale of state-owned Bank Mutiara, the state deposit agency (LPS) said.

FIDELITY GROWTH Partners, the private equity arm of Fidelity Worldwide Investment, along with existing investors have invested 2 billion rupees ($40.6 million) in Aptuit Laurus Pvt Ltd, an unlisted Indian pharma company.

EXCLUSIVE-AN Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund is exploring the sale of its $1.3 billion stake in Malaysian lender RHB Capital Bhd six months after buying the shares, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, and has engaged in early talks with Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp (SMBC).

FEBRUARY 13

U.S.-BASED private asset management firm Rohatyn Group said on Monday that it has agreed to acquire 60 percent of CapAsia, the private equity arm of Malaysia's CIMB Group Holdings Bhd .

FEBRUARY 10

INDIA'S RELIANCE Communications reported its 10th straight quarter of declining profit as interest costs soared, with investors betting on a sale of the No. 2 mobile operator's tower business to pare its heavy debt load.

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