Baring, Hony close $3bn take-private

The private equity duo have acquired NYSE-listed Chinese gaming company Giant Interactive

Baring Private Equity Asia and Hony Capital have completed the $3 billion Giant Interactive privatisation agreed in March, according to a statement.

The company shares were sold at $12 per share, with Baring taking 11.8 million shares in the transaction. The price respresents an 18.5 percent premium over its closing price of $10.13 per share on 22 November and a 31.6 percent premium over its 30-day volume weighted average share price prior to 22 November – the day before the original go-private proposal was announced.

Baring and founder Yuzhu Shi had previously offered $11.75 per share representing a total deal value of $2.8 billion, but later increased the offer and brought in Hony Capital as a co-investor.

The transaction includes $850 million in debt financing arranged by banks including China Minsheng Banking Corp, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank , Goldman Sachs, ICBC International Finance and JPMorgan Chase.

The company said that it requested trading of its American Depositary Shares on the New York Stock Exchange be suspended as of the close of trading on 18 July 2014.

The deal is one of the largest take-privates of US-listed Chinese company ever completed, a deal increasingly common as China-focused GPs struggle to deploy capital in the domestic market.

It also comes as Baring is in the early stages of fundraising for its latest private equity vehicle in the region. The firm launched its sixth fund in mid-May with a target of $3 billion, a step above its $2.46 billion predecessor, PEI revealed earlier. 

Baring typically invests around 30-40 percent of its capital in China-based businesses, but is active across the region. In India, Baring acquired Hexaware Technologies and Lafarge India last year, as well as sealing a $140 million buyout of Korean parcel delivery company Logen in August.