Sunday, March 2, 2014

Carlyle Group Monetizing China Before the Fall?

IFRAsia reported:

Less than a year after delisting from the US, Focus Media, the Chinese display advertising company, is already working on a return to the public equity markets, according to multiple sources familiar with its plans.

Focus Media, which delisted its Nasdaq shares in a leveraged buyout last May, is looking to complete a US$1bn Hong Kong IPO early next year. The deal might even arrive before the end of 2014, said one of the sources, potentially handing the firm’s private equity owners a swift return on their investment.

Does The Carlyle Group see the window for Chinese IPO's closing?   Here's a sign.  Carlyle and its partners already milked Focus Media for $500 million in a "debt for dividend" play.

The company’s owners have already received a US $500m payout through a dividend recapitalisation loan, after the company’s improving Ebitda allowed them to put more debt on the balance sheet barely six months later.

Six month dividend recapitalization and one year IPO?  So much for private equity underwriters (PEU's) being patient money.  There seems to be a rush to monetize.