| HONG KONG, Sept 11
HONG KONG, Sept 11 Banks in Asia are being
approached for an up to $1.7 billion financing to back Carlyle
Group-led deal to buy Focus Media Holding Ltd, the
biggest ever delisting of a New York-listed Chinese company,
Basis Point reported on Tuesday, citing bank sources.
U.S. buyout fund Carlyle and some of China's top
private equity funds are aiming to buy out Focus Media for $3.5
billion, a firm directly targeted by shortseller Muddy Waters.
The financing is critical to the success of the buyout plan.
Citigroup, Credit Suisse and DBS Bank
are leading the three-part buyout financing, which
consists of a $950 million to $1 billion term loan, a $200
million to $300 million bridge-to-bond facility and a $450
million cash bridge, Basis Point reported.
The term loan is expected to have a five-year tenor, while
the bridge financings will have six- to nine-month maturities,
the report added.
The company is looking to put together an underwriter group
of six or seven banks and terms of the financing are likely to
be finalised in about two to three weeks, Basis Point said.
At least eight banks, not including M&A advisers Citi,
Credit Suisse and DBS, have been sounded out, the report said.
The deal will back a consortium of buyers which includes
Carlyle, CITIC Capital Partners, CDH Investments, China
Everbright Ltd, Fountainvest Partners and Focus Media
chairman, Jason Nanchun Jiang.
The offer to take Focus Media private is the latest, and
biggest by some distance, in a string of attempted
management-led buyouts by U.S.-listed Chinese companies, whose
reputation among U.S. investors has suffered after a series of
alleged accounting scandals.
Private equity funds have been picking over hundreds of
China firms listed in the United States, looking for viable
takeover targets, but until now the deals have all been below $1
billion, largely because of difficulties getting financial
When announcing the privatisation plan in mid-August, the
Nasdaq-listed company stated that the three banks had asserted
they were highly confident of underwriting a financing.