Bain, Providence on Short-List for CNS

(Reuters) – Private equity funds Permira, Providence Equity Partners, Bain Capital and Australian investment bank Macquarie Group Ltd (MQG.AX) have been shortlisted for second-round bids to buy Taiwan cable company China Network Systems (CNS), IFR reported on Wednesday.

The deadline for submission of second-round bids was Sept. 20, the report said.

North Asia-focused private equity fund MBK Partners has put CNS on the block and a sale is expected to value the company at about $2 billion, sources have previously told Reuters.

If successful, MBK’s exit will be the biggest private equity sale in the Asia-Pacific region this year.

Permira had teamed up with Taiwan conglomerate Ruentex Group, while Macquarie had joined hands with Want Want Holdings to form another group, the report added, citing a banker close to the deal.

Bain Capital has teamed up with another private equity group that the report did not identify. It said Bain and Providence were holding separate talks with domestic business families that control Cathay Financial Holding Co Ltd (2882.TW), Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (2317.TW) and Yuanta Group about forming consortiums.

Morgan Stanley (MS.N) is advising MBK on the sale. The IFR report also said Citigroup Inc (C.N) was providing debt financing for the Permira-Ruentex consortium.

MBK Partners is selling CNS after buying the asset in 2007 for $1.5 billion.

By Prakash Chakravarti
(Writing by Denny Thomas; Editing by Chris Lewis)