Asia Private Equity Weekly News, Sept 9, 2013

HONG KONG, September 9 Mon Sep 9, 2013 1:54pm IST

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HONG KONG, September 9 (Reuters) - News and developments in Asia private equity from Reuters News for the week ending Sept. 6.

SEPTEMBER 6

KKR & CO LP is set to gain preferential negotiating rights for a majority stake in Panasonic Corp's healthcare unit, sources familiar with the matter said, a potential $1.5 billion deal that would mark the U.S. firm's largest investment in a Japanese company.

BREAKINGVIEWS-AMC is inviting investors to an initial public offering with back-row seats and no chance of buttered popcorn. The U.S. cinema chain filed for an IPO a year to the day after being bought by Chinese real estate group Wanda for $2.7 billion. The combination of heavy debts, a quick part-exit by the new owners and dubious governance makes for a poor showing.

MICLYN EXPRESS Offshore Ltd said it had received a takeover offer from private equity firms CHAMP Private Equity and Headland Capital Partners, which own a combined 75.2 percent of the company.

JAPAN'S SUNTORY Beverage & Food Ltd is in advanced talks to buy the Lucozade and Ribena brands from GlaxoSmithKline for more than 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) in a deal that would pre-empt an auction of the iconic British drinks, two people close to the process said.

SEPTEMBER 5

FOCUS MEDIA Holding Ltd, a Chinese display advertising company backed by Carlyle Group and other private equity firms, plans to return to the loan market with a recapitalisation plan of up to $500 million, according to sources familiar with the matter.

PRIVATE EQUITY asset manager Hamilton Lane has closed its third secondary private equity fund, Hamilton Lane Secondary Fund III LP. The fund closed at its original hard cap of $900 million. ()

INTERVIEW-OIL-RICH Kazakhstan, merging its private pension funds into a state-run entity, plans to invest 20 percent of the assets abroad in 3 to 5 years, its central bank governor, Grigory Marchenko, said in an interview.

SEPTEMBER 4

U.S.-LISTED China Hydroelectric Corp said it had received a go-private proposal from Hong Kong-based private equity firm NewQuest Capital Partners. NewQuest owns 49.8 percent of China Hydro, but options and warrants could increase that to 56.8 percent.

INDIA'S FUTURE Ventures is in talks to sell its 65 percent stake in entertainment and education company ACK Media for about $25-$29 million, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

EXPERT NETWORKS - a matchmaking service that connects investors with industry experts - are under scrutiny from regulators in the United States, but are expanding across Asia where the market for corporate intelligence is less transparent.

ACTIVIST HEDGE fund Starboard Value LP said it is working with investors interested in paying "substantially" more for Smithfield Foods Inc than the price China's Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd had agreed to.

SEPTEMBER 3

CITIGROUP INC said it will sell a $4.3 billion private equity fund, known as Citi Venture Capital International, for an undisclosed price to investment firm Rohatyn Group.

CHINA'S BRIGHT Food (Group) Co Ltd is in talks on the possible acquisition of Tnuva, Israel's biggest food manufacturer and distributor, in a deal one newspaper said could be worth around $1.6 billion.

CHINESE-ITALIAN private equity fund Mandarin Capital has sold its 7.57 percent stake in packaging machinery company IMA at 18.6 euros per share, two traders told Reuters on Tuesday.

SEPTEMBER 2

JAPAN'S PUBLIC pension fund, the world's biggest, has selected eight asset fund companies to actively manage $159 billion in foreign equities in its massive portfolio aimed at raising higher returns to cope with a rapidly ageing population.

INDONESIA'S INDOFOOD, one of the world's biggest instant noodle makers, launched a takeover offer for China Minzhong that values the food producer at S$734 million ($575 million), just days after an attack by a short-seller eroded almost half of the Chinese firm's market value.

U.S. HEDGE fund Coastal Capital joined debt specialists circling Billabong International Ltd, seeking a board spill, as rival investors eye the proceeds from a potential debt restructure rather than equity from a long-term turnaround.

PRIVATE EQUITY firm Resource Capital Partners said it has held a first close at $85 million on a new $350 million global fund targeting mining transactions, with a particular emphasis on North America, Central Asia and Latin America.

ANTHEM ASIA, a private investment and advisory group, said it is investing up to $1 million in an executive serviced office centre in downtown Yangon, Myanmar, the first of a planned network of Hintha Business Centres.

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