Carlyle Sells $860M Stake in China Pacific

The Carlyle Group has partially exited its investment in China Pacific Insurance, selling an $860 million stake in the company, Reuters reported. The Washington, D.C.-based buyout shop paid roughly $800 million between 2005 and 2007 for its stakes in China Pacific. Before the sell-down, Carlyle held a 15.4 percent stake in China Pacific’s overall outstanding shares, Reuters said.

(Reuters) – Carlyle Group [CYL.UL] has sold an about $860 million stake in China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co Ltd (2601.HK), a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Thursday, as the private equity fund partially exited the five-year-old investment.

China Pacific has been a lucrative investment for Carlyle, which paid just over $800 million in a series of investments between 2005 and 2007 for its stake, sources previously told Reuters.

Some traders were expecting Carlyle to offload part of its stake in China Pacific after the lock-up period for its investment expired last week. As a result, China Pacific’s Hong Kong-listed shares rose as much as 3.7 percent to HK$32.50 on Thursday, outpacing the Hang Seng Index .HSI.

Carlyle sold 215 million shares in China Pacific at HK$31.15 each, the source added.

Carlyle declined comment, while China Pacific could not immediately be reached for comment. UBS AG (UBSN.VX), the sole arranger for the deal, also declined comment.

Before the sell-down, Carlyle held a 15.4 percent stake in China Pacific’s overall outstanding shares.

China Pacific, the nation’s third-largest life insurer, raised $2.04 billion through a Hong Kong initial public offering in December 2009. That paved the way for Carlyle to exit its investment, although it was restricted from selling any shares for a year from the listing.

By Vikram Subhedar and Denny Thomas
(Additional reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Chris Lewis)