Asia Private Equity Weekly News, August 20, 2012

HONG KONG Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:44pm EDT

HONG KONG Aug 20 (Reuters) - News and developments in Asia private equity from Reuters News for the week ending Aug. 17.

AUGUST 17

THE CALIFORNIA Public Employees' Retirement System, the biggest U.S. pension fund said it will invest $530 million in two new real estate funds of ARA Asset Management, and $50 million in ARA's Dragon Fund II that will primarily focus on retail, office and residential properties in China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

AUGUST 16

PRIVATE EQUITY fund MBK Partners will pay 1.2 trillion won ($1.1 billion) for a stake in South Korean water purifier maker Woongjin Coway Co, sources said, in the country's second billion-dollar plus buyout deal in under two weeks.

A CONSORTIUM formed by South Korean private equity fund STIC Investments and Hana Daetoo Securities was picked as the preferred bidder to acquire a 49 percent stake in unlisted defence company LIG Nex1 worth around $440 million, a source said.

FACED WITH growing obligations and shrinking returns, many of the largest U.S. public pensions have raised their exposure to alternative investments to record levels this year, despite ongoing criticism of the risks and costs.

BREAKINGVIEWS-GOING private may give Focus Media a break from accusations by a U.S. shortseller over the quality of its accounting. But the 8 percent jump of the Chinese group's stock ahead of the $3.5 billion management buyout offer raises new questions.

AUGUST 15

U.S. BUYOUT fund Carlyle Group said it has acquired a 13.5 percent stake in Meinian Onehealth Healthcare Group Co Ltd, placing a bet on rising spending on preventive healthcare from China's growing middle class and ageing populations.

AUGUST 14

CARLYLE AND some of China's top private equity funds are targeting the biggest ever delisting of a New York-listed Chinese company, attempting to privatise Focus Media, a firm directly targeted by shortseller Muddy Waters.

PRIVATE EQUITY funds that invest in emerging markets may have raised similar amounts of cash in the first half of 2012 than a year earlier, but they used less of it, the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association said on Tuesday.

ADVEQ, AN asset manager investing in private equity funds globally, said that it has opened an office in Hong Kong, its third in the region to follow offices in Beijing and Shanghai.

AUGUST 13

PRIVATE EQUITY funds jointly managed by India's top lender, State Bank of India, and Australia's Macquarie Group , have agreed to invest $150 million in a unit of infrastructure firm Ashoka Buildcon, sending the road builder's shares up by as much as 11.3 percent in early trade.

THE PRIVATE equity arm of Goldman Sachs and American venture capital fund New Enterprise Associates (NEA) jointly invested about $54 million in an Indian healthcare firm, in a long-term bet on growing healthcare spending in the country.

PCCW said it has agreed to commit up to $25 million to Vision Knight Capital (China) Fund I L.P.

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