Asia Private Equity Weekly News, October 1, 2012

HONG KONG Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:25pm EDT

HONG KONG Oct 1 (Reuters) - News and developments in Asia private equity from Reuters News for the week ending September 28.

SEPTEMBER 28

GLOBAL PRIVATE equity firm Apax Partners LLP is looking to sell its 10 percent stake in Indian hospital chain Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd, three sources with direct knowledge of the talks said, in a deal that could raise around $250 million or more.

GLOBAL PRIVATE equity firm TPG Capital hired Credit Suisse director and co-head of corporate finance for Southeast Asia, Francis Woo, as a principal for its Southeast Asia team, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Woo will focus mainly on deal sourcing and execution, and reports to Ben Gray, TPG's head of Australia, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia.

HEINEKEN NV won full control of the maker of Tiger beer in a S$7.9 billion ($6.4 billion) deal, ending a two-month battle aimed at strengthening the Dutch brewer's position in fast-growing Asian beer markets.

INSIGHT-AS a two-month battle with Heineken for control of Tiger beer risked turning ugly, Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi telephoned Lee Hsien Yang, chairman of Singapore conglomerate Fraser and Neave (F&N), the brewer's co-owner.

SEPTEMBER 27

PENSION FUNDS and endowments are pressing private equity firms hard to boost returns amid a global economic slowdown, just as buyout executives set off on a new round of multibillion-dollar fundraising.

U.S. BUYOUT firm Cerberus Capital Management LP may sell its 55 percent stake in Japan's Aozora Bank Ltd, the lender said, sending its shares down more than 9 percent in their biggest one-day fall in a year.

BREAKINGVIEWS-BUYOUT firms risk alienating other stakeholders by getting too close to a handful of major backers.

INVESCO LTD is set to buy a 49 percent stake in the asset management unit of India's Religare Enterprises Ltd , controlled by billionaire brothers Malvinder and Shivinder Singh, for about 4.5 billion rupees ($84 million), a source with direct knowledge of the deal said.

AUSTRALIA'S TOP supermarket chain Woolworths Ltd agreed to sell its Dick Smith Electronics chain in Australia and its Indian wholesale venture for a combined A$55 million ($56.88 million) to private equity firm Anchorage Capital Partners.

CARLYLE GROUP and Sequoia Capital China have offered to take Chinese economy hotel chain 7 Days Group Holdings Ltd private with its co-chairmen in a deal valued at $634.7 million.

SEPTEMBER 26

WOONGJIN HOLDINGS said the sale of water purifier maker Woongjin Coway to local private equity fund MBK Partners was "halted" after the holding company filed for court receivership earlier on Wednesday, throwing the $1.1 billion deal into question.

MEDIA-FOCUSED buyout firm Providence Equity Partners has sold minority stakes in the company that manages its funds in a deal aimed at propelling its expansion.

SEPTEMBER 25

CARLYLE SAID it has acquired 100 percent of the outstanding shares of Walbro Engine Management, a global small engine parts manufacturer, from Sun Capital Partners. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Equity for the investment comes from Carlyle Japan Partners II.

INTERVIEW-BILLIONAIRE investor Wilbur Ross plans to take part in China's first shale gas tender open to foreign investors by teaming up Exco Resources, a U.S. natural gas firm he holds a stake in, with a Chinese partner.

HARVEST FUND Management, China's second-largest retail fund manager by assets, has formed a joint venture with the fund management arm of British property developer Grosvenor to invest in real estate in greater China, the money managers said in a joint statement.

SEPTEMBER 24

TWO MORE Asia-based private equity firms have joined the fundraising bandwagon, seeking a combined $4.25 billion, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters, adding to a long list of buyout firms chasing capital in the region.

CARLYLE-BACKED Japanese ball-bearings maker Tsubaki Nakashima Co has called off an up to $555 million initial public offering, citing weak market conditions, marking another failed attempt by the U.S. private equity firm to list its assets in Japan.

PRIVATE EQUITY firm Navis Capital said it has acquired 100 percent of BIG Cinemas in Malaysia from Reliance MediaWorks Ltd for an undisclosed amount, and will merge BIG with MBO Cinemas, which Navis acquired in April, giving it 24 cinemas and 165 screens across Malaysia.

ASIA SATELLITE Telecommunications Holdings Ltd said its subsidiary AsiaSat had sold SpeedCast Holdings Ltd to private equity firm TA Associates for around $32 million.

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