KKR, BlackRock in talks to buy stake in China Huarong-sources

HONG KONG Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:07am EST

HONG KONG Jan 24 (Reuters) - KKR & Co and BlackRock Inc are among the investors in talks to buy a stake in China Huarong Asset Management Co Ltd as the bad debt manager seeks to raise more than $2 billion, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Reuters previously reported that Huarong was planning to sell a stake of between 15-20 percent to strategic investors ahead of an eventual listing of China's biggest asset management company.

Other investors in talks to buy a pre-IPO stake in Huarong are private equity firms Blackstone Group and Bain Capital, the people said. Sovereign wealth funds from Asia and the Middle East are among the around 20 investors preparing to submit first-round offers by mid-February, they said.

Blackstone, BlackRock and KKR declined to comment. Bain could not be reached for comment. A Huarong official said the company has been talking with investors, but they have not selected any.

The sources declined to be identified as the process was private.

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