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Pacific Equity Partners calls off sale of American Stock Transfer: sources

Pacific Equity Partners has pulled the auction of American Stock Transfer & Trust, three banking sources said.

Pacific Equity, Sydney, did not get the valuation it was seeking for American Stock Transfer, the people said. Australia’s largest buyout shop was seeking $1.5 billion for American Stock Transfer, Bloomberg reported in August.

Founded in 1971, New York-based AST provides stock-transfer and employee-plan services to more than 2,800 public companies. Clients include Apollo Global Management, Microsoft, Siemens and State Street.

Pacific Equity launched the auction of American Stock Transfer in September and tapped Barclays to run the sale. Strategics such as Computershare were expected to be interested in American Stock Transfer. AST did receive bids from Apollo Global and Centerbridge Partners, sources said.

Pacific Equity invested in AST in 2008. That deal was valued at about $1 billion. Since then, American Stock Transfer acquired AST Fund Solutions in 2011 and D.F. King in 2014.

Pacific Equity had planned to combine American Stock Transfer with another of its portfolio companies, Link Group. Soon after the firm bought AST, the financial crisis hit and company earnings fell, the Australian Financial Review reported. Pacific Equity then took Link public in October 2015, press reports said.

Pacific Equity Partners, with A$3.5 billion (US$2.62 billion) of equity funds under advisement, is the largest PE fund in Australia and New Zealand.

The firm considers companies in all industries (except gambling and tobacco-related activities) with enterprise values of A$200 million to A$1 billion, the firm’s website said.

Pacific Equity’s last fund, PEP V, closed in September 2015 at its A$2.1 billion hard cap.

Barclays and Apollo declined comment. Pacific Equity, American Stock Transfer and Centerbridge could not be reached for comment.

Action Item: Contact American Stock Transfer CEO Brian Longe at +1 718-921-8200.

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