MSPEA, Baring in $107m China take private

The firms will privatise NYSE-listed Noah Education, which runs schools in China.

Shenzhen-based Noah Education has agreed to be taken private by a consortium that includes Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia, Baring Private Equity Asia and members of the management team, according to a statement.

The consortium has offered $2.85 per ordinary share (or $2.85 per American Depositary Share), representing a 26.7 percent premium over the closing price of $2.25 per ADS as quoted by the NYSE on December 23, 2013, the last trading day prior to the company's announcement that it had received a privatisation offer. 

The new offer is up five cents per share from the bid in December.

The deal values Noah at $107.4 million.

Noah Education, founded in 2004, is a provider of education services in China with a focus on English language training, high-end kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, and supplemental education.

In 2013, MSPEA completed two take-privates of Chinese companies – privatising Yongye International from the NASDAQ in September in a $339 million deal and Feihe International from the NYSE in March in a $147 million deal, Private Equity International reported earlier.

Baring has invested in other Chinese education companies, including Ambow Education, an operator of tutoring centers in China which last year was taken over by provisional liquidators, and Hong Kong-based Nord Anglia, which raised $300 million in a US IPO last month.

MSPEA was expected to close a $1.5 billion fund in Q1 this year and Baring is expected to shortly launch a $3 billion Asia fund, PEI reported earlier.