CLSA selling Apollo Hospitals stake: source

MUMBAI Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:09pm IST

A broker monitors share prices at a brokerage firm in Mumbai August 9, 2011. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Files

A broker monitors share prices at a brokerage firm in Mumbai August 9, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui/Files

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MUMBAI (Reuters) - Hong Kong brokerage CLSA is selling its stake in Apollo Hospitals Enterprises Ltd (APLH.NS) for $135 million, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

The Apollo offering is part of nearly $900 million worth of share deals launched or pricing across Asia on Wednesday, as regional companies tap a revival in appetite for riskier assets.

CLSA, which is the fourth-biggest shareholder of the Indian hospitals and pharmacy chain, is selling its 6.15 percent stake in a range of 824 rupees to 876 rupees a share, said the source, declining to be named as the details are not public.

The price range is a discount of up to 6 percent to Apollo's Tuesday close of 876.60 rupees. Indian stock markets were shut on Wednesday for a religious holiday. Apollo stock is up 55 percent so far this year.

The share sale was launched on Wednesday and the trade will be executed via block deals on Thursday morning, according to a term sheet seen by Reuters.

CLSA, which invested in Apollo in 2008, will join the long list of foreign institutional and private equity funds, which are taking advantage of a nearly 22 percent rise in the BSE Sensex so far this year.

India's stock market dropped nearly 25 percent last year, making it one of the worst global performers and leaving few options for private equity firms to exit their portfolio companies through IPOs or secondary share deals.

Citigroup (C.N) is the sole bookrunner for CLSA's stake sale deal, the term sheet showed.

Elsewhere in the region, Goldman Sachs Principal Investment Area (GS.N) launched an up to $262 million selldown in Chinese automaker Geely Automobile (0175.HK) in an indicative range of HK$3.30 to HK$3.40 each, Thomson Reuters publication IFR said.

Other deals included a $189 million sale by UBS (UBSN.VX) in Thai convenience store operator CP All CPALL.BK, IFR said.

Chinese equipment maker Zhengzhou Coal Mining Machinery Group Co Ltd (601717.SS) was set to raise nearly $300 million from a Hong Kong share offering that was launched last week and due to be priced later on Wednesday.

(Additional reporting by Elzio Barreto in HONG KONG; Editing by Louise Heavens)

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