Asia Private Equity Weekly News, Sept 24, 2013

HONG KONG, Sept 24 Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:27am EDT

HONG KONG, Sept 24 (Reuters) - News and developments in Asia private equity from Reuters News for the week ended Sept. 19.

SEPTEMBER 18

BREAKINGVIEWS-HUBRIS has returned to China's property market. House prices rose at their fastest rate in over three and a half years in August. Smart investors are sniffing around the sector, in the belief that they can sift the good from the bad. Underpinning the whole edifice is a misguided belief that the government has let prices run up so far that it can't possibly let them deflate.

AUSTRALIA'S BILLABONG International Ltd accepted a sweetened refinancing proposal from U.S. hedge funds Oaktree Capital Management and Centerbridge Partners, and appointed an industry veteran as its new chief executive.

ONLINE JOBS portal Freelancer.com is planning an initial public offering in Australia this year after knocking back several attempts to buy it, including a $400 million approach from Japanese recruitment firm Recruit Holdings Co.

SEPTEMBER 17

CHINA'S SHUANGHUI International is close to securing shareholder approval for its $4.7 billion offer for Smithfield Foods Inc, which would be the biggest purchase of a U.S. company by a Chinese firm, ahead of the vote next week, three people familiar with the matter said.

WHEN AUSTRALIAN customers of Quickflix ring the online video rental and streaming service's support centre, the voice at the other end of the line sounds reassuringly familiar. That's because the person speaking is not in Manila or Bangalore, but Auckland, New Zealand, where call centres have been steadily gaining clients from neighbouring Australia.

KIRKLAND & ELLIS LLP said it has opened a Beijing office which will focus on M&A and private equity transactions, international capital markets transactions, fund formation and government enforcement and investigations. ()

SEPTEMBER 16

HENRY KRAVIS, co-founder of private-equity firm KKR & Co LP , said he sees rising opportunities for dealmaking in Japan as the country's firms open up to foreign partnerships in response to competition from South Korea and China.

TPG GROWTH, a unit of U.S. private equity firm TPG Capital said it has invested 1.45 billion rupees ($22.9 million) in Sutures India Pvt Ltd, a privately held medical consumables firm.

AUSTRALIA'S WESTFIELD Group agreed to sell stakes in seven U.S. shopping malls to an affiliate of Starwood Capital Group for $1.64 billion.

SOUTH KOREA's E-Land Group has denied a press report it was interested in buying into Italian fashion house Versace, which is planning to sell a stake to fund growth.

KKR-BACKED medical services provider Genesis Care Pty Ltd is finalising a refinancing and dividend recapitalisation in the Australian loan market, after pulling a $275 million term loan B earlier this year, Basis Point reported citing sources.

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