May 23, 2018 / 3:17 PM / 7 months ago

UPDATE 1-Private equity fund buys index maker Alerian as ZZ Capital deal stalls

(Adds detail and context)

By Kane Wu

HONG KONG, May 23 (Reuters) - Aretex Capital Partners, a private equity fund that was launched just this year, has agreed to buy Alerian, the developer of the energy benchmark Alerian MLP Index, Aretex said in a statement late on Tuesday.

Aretex was founded by two executives at ZZ Capital International Ltd, whose current deal to purchase Alerian has stalled since last July.

Alerian’s MLP Index tracks energy companies which have structured themselves as master limited partnerships, publicly traded partnerships whose profits are taxed only when investors receive their distribution. The company is based in Dallas.

The deal would be the first investment by Aretex, an investment fund founded by Sergio D’Angelo and Andrew Feller. D’Angelo is currently the head of Europe for ZZ Capital International while Feller is the head of North America, according to their LinkedIn profiles.

Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

ZZ Capital’s investments included stakes in two other companies, Building Energy 1 Holdings, a renewable energy company, and Surgical Specialities Corp, which makes medical supplies and sutures.

Aretex raised capital for the deal through two financial sponsors, according to a person familiar with the matter. With the purchase, ZZ Capital will focus on investments in China, the person said.

D’Angelo declined to comment on Aretex, its sponsors or its interest in other ZZ Capital holdings in a telephone interview. Feller did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hong Kong-based ZZ Capital agreed last July to buy Alerian, a financial index and data provider, for $582 million in cash and up to $230 million in additional payments if it hit revenue targets from 2018 to 2021.

The firm had been attempting to restructure the deal after missing two deadlines to close the transaction.

Alerian Chief Executive Kenny Feng was unavailable and a spokeswoman for the company declined to comment on the deal’s terms.

China’s clampdown last year on bank lending for overseas investments has required ZZ Capital to seek offshore funding for its existing deal pipeline and to slow new mergers and acquisition proposals, it said in a regulatory filing in February.

A U.S.-based spokesman for Aretex was unavailable for immediate comment. (Reporting by Kane Wu, additional reporting by Gary McWilliams; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Jonathan Oatis)

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