Newbridge, TPG-Axon in Singapore deal

The Texas Pacific Group affiliates are teaming up to acquire a minority stake in Richard Li’s PCRD.

Newbridge Capital, the Asia-focused arm of Texas Pacific Group, is leading a bid to acquire a 25 percent stake in Singapore-listed Pacific Century Regional Developments (PCRD).

Newbridge and TPG-Axon Capital (TAC), a hedge fund subsidiary of TPG, have made an offer of 27 Singapore cents per share for a joint 25 percent stake in PCRD, which has interests in financial services, telecommunications and information technology, and property and infrastructure investment and development, throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The deal is valued at $125 million (€102 million), according to media reports.

Owned by Hong Kong tycoon, Richard Li, PRCD’s main assets are a 23 percent stake in Hong Kong fixed-line phone company PCCW and a 46 percent stake in Pacific Century Insurance.

Li’s holding company, Pacific Century Holdings, will retain its 75 percent stake in PCRD and support the proposed transaction if it is accepted by minority shareholders, according to a statement.

“Acquiring PCRD, hopefully through a minority shareholding – which still has to be voted on – will make us the other controlling shareholder which holds interests in both PCCW and PCI, by proxy” Tim Dattels, Newbridge managing director, told PEO in a phone interview. “PCCW is an attractive franchise that is highly competitive in Hong Kong and attractively positioned in mainland China where its business is growing.”

The offer to buy 25 percent of PCRD has to be voted on, and should take four to six months to complete, Dattels said, adding that if the deal is completed, PCRD will be privatised, and apply to be de-listed from Singapore exchange.

Last year, Newbridge Capital, together with TAC, acquired a 26 percent stake in Singapore-based hospital operator Parkway Holdings for $188 million.
Founded in 1994 by Texas Pacific Group and Blum Capital Partners, Newbridge Capital is an Asia-focused private equity investment firm with $2.3 billion of capital under management.
TAC is primarily a hedge fund company that currently manages approximately US$5.5 billion in capital, founded by former Goldman Sachs trader Dinakar Singh and Texas Pacific Group.