Bloomberg News

AsiaInfo Jumps to 6-Month High on Report of KKR, TPG Bids

February 22, 2012

(Updates with closing prices in second paragraph.)

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- AsiaInfo-Linkage Inc. surged to a six-month high in U.S. trading after a report KKR & Co. and TPG Capital may bid for the Chinese telecommunications software provider whose customers are the nation’s biggest wireless carriers.

AsiaInfo’s shares jumped 11 percent to $12.95 as trading closed in New York, the highest level since Aug. 3. They earlier climbed as much as 12 percent to $13.14.

Private-equity firms including KKR and TPG are lining up potential bids for Beijing-based AsiaInfo in a deal that may be worth more than $1 billion, Reuters reported today, citing people they didn’t identify with direct knowledge of the matter.

Jessica Barist Cohen, who is responsible for AsiaInfo’s investor relations in New York, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment. Owen Blicksilver, a spokesman for TPG, declined to comment on the report, while Kristi Huller, a spokeswoman for KKR, also declined to comment.

AsiaInfo got a “non-binding” proposal from Power Joy (Cayman) Ltd., a unit of CITIC Capital China Partners II LP, to acquire all outstanding shares in cash, according to a statement from the company on Jan. 20. The offer “represents a premium over the current stock price,” and AsiaInfo has set up a special committee to consider it, the company said last month.

CITIC Capital is a private-equity fund owned by China’s biggest state-owned investment company and the nation’s sovereign wealth fund. China Mobile Ltd., China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd., and China Telecom Corp. accounted for 98 percent of AsiaInfo’s total sales, according to a regulatory filing in February 2011.

--With assistance from Devin Banerjee in New York. Editors: Marie-France Han, Emma O’Brien

To contact the reporter on this story: Belinda Cao in New York at lcao4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Emma O’Brien at eobrien6@bloomberg.net


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