* Invested $800 mln in Chinese insurer CPIC from 2005-07
* Latest sale completes Carlyle's largest dollar profit
* Shares priced at top of HK$30 to HK$30.30 range
* CPIC shares drop 2.1 pct, trade above Carlyle's selldown
By Elzio Barreto and Stephen Aldred
HONG KONG, Jan 8 Private equity firm Carlyle
Group sold its remaining stake in China's No.3 insurer
CPIC in a deal valued at $793 million, exiting the business with
its largest dollar profit on an investment.
After several stake sales in the past two years, Carlyle
will finish with a total profit of more than $4 billion, five
times the $800 million it invested in CPIC between 2005 and 2007
for a 17 percent stake, Thomson Reuters calculations show.
By private equity standards, where making two times cash
paid and a few hundred million is considered a success, the CPIC
exit is an historic deal for Carlyle.
Carlyle confirmed the sale, without disclosing the terms.
The U.S. group, among the world's biggest private equity
companies with more than $157 billion in assets under
management, sold 203 million Hong Kong-traded shares of China
Pacific Insurance (Group) Co Ltd (CPIC) at the top of
an indicative range of HK$30 to HK$30.30 per share, a source
with direct knowledge of the deal told Reuters.
CPIC shares were down 2.1 percent in early afternoon in Hong
Kong, trading above Carlyle's selldown price as the sale removed
an overhang on the stock.
Carlyle began selling down its CPIC stake in late 2010,
culminating in the current deal.
Strong demand for insurance products in China through the
country's rising middle class, coupled with a bull market, has
led to a surge in CPIC's share price. The shares have climbed
nearly 40 percent over the past year, reaching a 52-week high
Carlyle's latest sale takes its total proceeds from CPIC
share selldowns to about $5.1 billion. That would put Carlyle's
profit from the CPIC deal at $4.3 billion, excluding any
dividends it received on the holdings, according to Reuters
Goldman Sachs and UBS acted as joint
bookrunners on the sale.
Carlyle has been investing in Asia for over a decade and has
a portfolio of 38 current investments in Asia, including 19 in
China, its website says.
Carlyle's CPIC investment was led by X.D. Yang, a Hong
Kong-based managing director and co-head of Carlyle Asia