【英语中国】中国IPO重启令私募股权公司感到两难 DJ China IPO Reopening Keeps Private-Equity Firms Awake — WSJ Blog

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2014-1-13 07:42

小艾摘要: The closure of China's initial-public-offering market used to be what kept mainland-focused private-equity investors up at night. Now, it's the reopening of that exit path that's cause for concern. 'I ...
DJ China IPO Reopening Keeps Private-Equity Firms Awake -- WSJ Blog
The closure of China's initial-public-offering market used to be what kept mainland-focused private-equity investors up at night. Now, it's the reopening of that exit path that's cause for concern.

'I do fear momentum in China, I do fear if the handful of these IPOs are hot, the index goes up in a straight line,' Derek Sulger, a partner at Lunar Capital, said at a Mergermarket-EY conference on Asia's maturing private-equity market in Hong Kong this week.

Most private-equity firms rely on IPOs to exit their investments in the world's second-largest economy. But in late 2012, the China Securities Regulatory Commission halted approving IPOs while it hashed out changes that would make IPOs more registration-based rather than approval-based.

China-focused private-equity firms have been stuck holding investments, in part due to the closure of the IPO market. Although private-equity firms can also sell companies to one another, or specialist buyers, that is uncommon in China. Private-equity firms typically take minority stakes in companies in China, giving them less say in how and when to exit a company.

Sitting on investments has become a concern for private-equity firms, which like to at least have the option of cashing out within a few years. Over the past 10 years, about 9,000 deals have been done in China, but in more than 7,500 of those cases, investors haven't cashed out, according a 2013 report from Shenzhen-based private-equity advisory China First Capital.

With IPOs coming back, private companies, many of which have financial backing from private-equity and venture-capital backers, could raise as much as 250 billion yuan ($41 billion) this year through as many as 300 offerings, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

For advisory firm EXS Capital Group Chief Executive Eric Solberg, the reopening of China's IPO market is 'bittersweet' -- it will likely boost deal flow as private-equity players see a clear exit path, but company valuations are likely to rise.

'My fear is that the IPO market heats up too fast and both the retail market and the entrepreneurs start having unrealistic expectations again, ' said Mr. Solberg.

In Greater China, there have been signs of enthusiasm for new deals, particularly in the private-equity friendly retail sector. In Hong Kong, for example, the $48 million public float of babywear maker Miko International Holdings. Ltd. this month was 1,125 times oversubscribed in the retail investor component of the deal, a person familiar with the situation said.

Associated Press图为一名投资者在上海的一家私人证券公司看着股价指示牌。中国最近重启IPO,为更多的公司在国内上市铺平了道路。
中国暂停首次公开募股(IPO)曾经使那些聚焦中国大陆的私募股权公司彻夜难安。而现在,IPO的重启又使这些公司感到担忧。

Lunar Capital合伙人苏尔杰(Derek Sulger)本周在香港参加由Mergermarket和安永(EY)主办的会议上表示,中国市场的能量确实令他感到担心,他确实担心一系列IPO带来的热度将导致股指直线飙升。

多数私募股权公司都依赖IPO这种方式来退出在中国的投资。但2012年末,中国证券监督管理委员会暂停了IPO审批,同时加快了IPO由审批制向注册制转变的改革。

受IPO暂停影响,一些聚焦中国市场的私募股权公司将无法退出投资。尽管私募股权公司也可以将企业股权出售给其他公司或专业买家,但这种做法在中国并不常见。在中国,私募股权公司通常买进的企业的少数股权,因此没有太大的话语权来决定在何时、通过何种方式退出对一家企业的投资。

“套现难”已经成了私募股权公司面临的一个问题,这些公司希望至少能有在几年内套现的选择。总部位于深圳的私募股权咨询公司中国首创(China First Capital)去年发布的报告显示,过去10年内,在中国完成的私募股权交易约有9,000桩,但超过7,500桩的投资者还未能套现。

普华永道(PriceWaterhouseCoopers)称,随着IPO交易重启,私营企业今年可能通过至多300桩交易筹资高达人民币2,500亿元(合410亿美元)。许多私营企业都拥有私募股权或风险投资公司的财务支持。

对于咨询公司EXS Capital Group的首席执行长索尔伯格(Eric Solberg)来说,中国IPO市场的重开是苦乐参半的。IPO重启将使私募股权公司看到清晰的变现途径,促使它们增加私募股权交易数量,但这也可能导致它们想投资的公司估值上升。

索尔伯格称,他担心IPO市场过快升温,导致散户投资者和企业家再次开始抱有不切实际的预期。

在大中华区,已有迹象显示新的IPO交易点燃了市场热情,尤其是在对私募股权公司友好的零售行业。一位知情人士透露,在童装生产商米格国际控股(Miko International Holdings Ltd.)本月进行的4,800万美元IPO中,针对散户投资者发行的股份获得了1,125倍的超额认购。

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