Baring PE Asia offers to take struggling portfolio company Ambow private


learn-bookBaring Private Equity Asia has offered to make a complete buyout of listed portfolio company Ambow Education in an attempt to help the business better negotiate the testing financial climate.

The firm bought into Chinese e-learning company Ambow last year alongside company CEO Jin Huang in a $48m deal, and has now made a take-private offer which values the company at about $108m.

BPEA said it would pay $1.46 for each American Depository Share, a 44.5 per cent premium on the closing price on Friday.

A statement from the firm said, “[BEPA Fund V] has been a substantial investor in the company for more than one year and we have supported the company’s vision to create the leading education, tutoring and training company in China.

“However, the company’s hard work has unfortunately not been reflected in the trading price and liquidity of its securities.

“The company is facing difficult challenges in the current market that we believe can be better addressed as a private company without the pressures of being publicly listed in the US.”

BPEA closed its fifth fund on $2.46bn in February 2011, making it the largest Asian private equity fundraise since the downturn at the time.

The fund closed on its hard cap with more than $1bn in excess demand, BPEA said, adding that the fundraise had taken less than five months.

BPEA has more than $5bn of committed funds under management and targets mid-market companies with enterprise values between $100m and $1bn.

It has been investing in Asia since 1997 and has 38 active portfolio companies according to its website.

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