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July 19, 2004

TechVenture Asia 2004
News Flash

Newbridge Cancels Deal with Minsheng Bank

Newbridge Capital has decided not to proceed with its investment in China Minsheng Banking Corp., the country’s first privately-owned nationwide bank. In late January, the private equity firm entered into an agreement with China National Coal Group to acquire its shares of Minsheng Bank. The deal was estimated to be in the US$100 million range. According to local sources, Minsheng’s management welcomed Newbridge’s decision, as obtaining regulatory approval for the transaction would have delayed the bank’s planned listing abroad.

JP Morgan Clinches Its Second Manufacturing Deal of the Year

JP Morgan Partners Asia has entered into an agreement to acquire its second manufacturing portfolio company this year. Asia’s largest buyout fund management house outside of Japan intends to take up a controlling position in a disk drive parts maker based in Singapore. In April this year, JP Morgan Partners Asia deployed some US$167 million in taking over a precision parts manufacturer in Hong Kong.

Goldman Sachs Parks US$40 million in Chinese Drug Retailer

Goldman Sachs has signed an agreement to commit an initial US$40 million in Shenzhen-based Nep-Star Drug Store. The Wall Street investment bank aims to help Nep-Star become the largest pharmaceutical and healthcare products retail chain in China within the next five years.

Carlyle & Qualcomm Inc. in Wireless Content Deal in China

The Carlyle Group and Qualcomm Inc. recently committed US$3 million in Enorbus Technologies. Based in Beijing, Enorbus is a leading wireless application publisher and developer of games and entertainment content for wireless phones.

Shareholders of Singapore’s Largest Buyout Meet in Court

Two substantial Natsteel shareholders, 98 Holdings and Mr Oei Hong Long, are locked in a legal dispute. Mr Oei, who holds a 29.9% position in Natsteel through Sanion Enterprises, initiated legal proceedings against several entities, including NatSteel, 98 Holdings, and the Singapore Business Times. A director of 98 Holdings and a journalist with the financial publication were also named in the defamation suit. Two private equity investors, the GEMS and Standard Chartered Private Equity joined 98 Holdings in early 2003 in taking up a majority stake in Natsteel.

Asia Misses Out on Mitsubishi’s Second Fund-of-Funds

Alternative Investment Capital Ltd., Japan’s first fund-of-funds establishment which is 50%-owned by Mitsubishi Corp. announced the launch of its second fund-of-funds with a target size of US$200 million. Mitsubishi Corp. and Daido Life, the latter being the other shareholder in Alternative Investment Capital, will each subscribe US$50 million to the new fund. Unlike its predecessor, the new vehicle will focus solely on Europe and USA.

TechVenture Asia 2004

Stay tuned for APER's forthcoming August issue for full coverage of the above!

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