Alec Macfarlane is a columnist based with Breakingviews’ Asia team in Hong Kong. He was previously with the Wall Street Journal in Hong Kong, covering the Asian IPO market, and has also covered private equity for Dow Jones in London.
Buyout shops PAG and Blackstone are being uncharacteristically aggressive in separate property bids in Hong Kong and Sydney. Abundant cash seeking deals may lead to more such hostilities. It also risks undoing private equity’s carefully managed reputation for takeover civility.
The buyout firm is investing in a leading Filipino payments startup, alongside Tencent. The main rival is backed by Alibaba. Chinese giants and SoftBank have been burning cash to win users in a regional war of attrition. KKR may get caught in the crossfire.
China Renaissance fell 20 pct on its Hong Kong trading debut, valuing the tech advisor at less than half its original $5 bln target. A shaky outlook is partly to blame, but Renaissance also overpriced itself. For an investment bank, such a fumble is hard to explain to clients.