CITIC Capital, Edward Tian Push Forward On AsiaInfo-Linkage Go-Private Deal


An investor consortium led by CITIC Capital Partners says it has signed a definitive merger agreement to take NASDAQ-listed Chinese company AsiaInfo-Linkage, Inc. private in a US$890 million deal.

Beijing-headquartered AsiaInfo-Linkage is a software and IT services provider to the telecommunications industry.

The buyer consortium is led by US$2.6 billion-under-management CITIC Capital Partners and Edward Tian, co-founder and a significant shareholder of AsiaInfo-Linkage.

The consortium also includes their respective affiliates, CITIC PE and China Broadband Capital Partners, a Chinese private equity fund focused on the telecommunications, media and telecom sectors founded by Edward Tian.

The terms of the deal remain the same when CITIC and Tian initially made the privatization proposal on January 11, 2012. The consortium will pay US$12 in cash, a 52% premium over the closing price of the last trading day before the announcement.

Bank of Taiwan, Cathay United Bank, ICBC International Capital, Maybank Investment Bank Berhad, and Nomura International (Hong Kong) will arrange a US$330 million debt financing for the deal.

AsiaInfo-Linkage shares closed trading at US$11.60 today on the NASDAQ.

Investors and management are pushing forward on numerous take-private deals of overseas listed Chinese companies.

Last month, 3SBio Inc., a Chinese biotechnology company, says a consortium has raised its offer to take the Shenyang-based company private for about US$370 million.

NASDAQ-traded Focus Media also got shareholders approval for a deal to privatize the company last month.

AsiaInfo-Linkage’s board has approved and recommends shareholders to vote for the deal.

CITIC Capital Partners is the private equity arm of CITIC Capital Holdings, a China-focused alternative investment management and advisory company that manages over US$4 billion.

 
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