Reuters – Longreach Looks to Sell EnTie Bank Stake

Private equity firm Longreach Group is seeking T$30 or more a share for its stake in Taiwan’s EnTie Commercial Bank, a price that would value any deal at about $1.2 billion, writes Reuters. Longreach and Carlyle Group are planning to exit their investments in Taiwan, as its competitive, fragmented banking market has never produced the returns investors had sought, writes Reuters.

Reuters – Private equity firm Longreach Group is seeking T$30 or more a share for its stake in Taiwan’s EnTie Commercial Bank, a price that would value any deal at about $1.2 billion, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters on Thursday.

Longreach and bigger rival Carlyle Group are planning to exit their bank investments in Taiwan, as its competitive, fragmented banking market and slow progress on building ties with China have never produced the returns the investors had sought.

“Longreach wants to make a profit,” said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity. “They are trying to decide when to exit.”

Longreach bought a 51 percent stake in Entie in 2007 for T$18.8 billion ($637 million) amid a rush of private equity deals in Taiwan’s banking industry. It currently holds 58 percent of EnTie.

It hired Morgan Stanley to explore the sale of its stake, a source said in April.

Taiwanese banks’ return on assets in 2011 was 0.53 percent – the lowest among banks in Asia excluding Japan, according to Fitch Ratings in Taiwan. They also have with little in the way of overseas operations to fuel growth.

In midday trading, shares of EnTie rose 0.42 percent, lagging the broader market’s 1.64 percent rally. (Editing by Jonathan Standing)