Carlyle to leave Chinese insurer on record high

Michael Bow
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PRIVATE equity heavyweight The Carlyle Group is set to cash out its remaining stake in China’s third largest insurer China Pacific Insurance, reaping a record profit of around $4bn (£2.5bn) for investors.

The group, based on the same avenue as the White House in Washington DC, has released a term sheet detailing plans to sell its final allotment of shares in the firm, bringing to a close a seven year investment.

The deal will make China Pacific Insurers the private equity house’s most successful trade ever, after it originally ploughed $740m into the fledgling company between 2005 and 2007, before it went public.

The final tranche of shares to be sold – some $790m, or 7.3 per cent of the Hong Kong-listed firm – would take to $5.1bn the amount of money Carlyle has made from selling its holdings.

China Pacific Insurance is the third largest insurer in China behind China Life Insurance and Ping An. Carlyle cuts its holdings in the group to 8.81 per cent from 18.38 per cent in July having steadily wound down its holdings since 2010 after the Hong Kong-traded company’s share price started to rise. Goldman Sachs and UBS are placing the shares.