AsiaInfo's Largest Shareholder Weighing Sale of Stake, Sources Say




  • In Business
  • 2022-08-09 01:20:13Z
  • By Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Trustar Capital, a Chinese private equity firm, is considering selling its stake in telecommunications software and IT services provider AsiaInfo Technologies Ltd., according to people familiar with the matter.

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The affiliate of Citic Capital Holdings Ltd. is working with advisers on a possible divestment of its holding in Hong Kong-listed AsiaInfo, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Trustar is AsiaInfo's biggest shareholder, controlling 23.1% of the Beijing-based company's shares, its latest annual report shows.

Trustar's stake in AsiaInfo has attracted interest from potential suitors, the people said. A buyer of the private equity firm's shares could make a bid for the whole company and relist it in China, one of the people said.

Discussions are at an early stage and the private equity firm could decide not to sell, the people said. A representative for Trustar declined to comment. AsiaInfo said the company will disclose information in a timely manner in accordance with regulations, and declined to comment further.

AsiaInfo has a market value of around HK$11.4 billion ($1.5 billion) as of Monday's close in Hong Kong, giving Trustar's stake a value of about $331 million, according to Bloomberg calculations. The company was taken private by Trustar, then called Citic Capital Partners, and delisted from the Nasdaq in 2014, according to AsiaInfo's website. It raised $119 million in a Hong Kong initial public offering in 2018.

Established in 1993, AsiaInfo offers telecom software products and related services, the website shows. The company provides integrated cloud and network management services, including customer relationship management, billing and accounting, big data, Internet of Things and 5G network intelligence products.

AsiaInfo reported revenue of about 3.1 billion yuan ($459 million) in the first six months of this year, 14.5% higher than the same period in 2021. The company reported net income of 192 million yuan in the first half, a decline of 31% from the year before.

(Updates with company response in fourth pararaph and half-year earnings in last paragraph.)

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