BEA sells Tricor to PE firm Permira for HK$6.47 billion

BEA chief David Li says Tricor will develop more effectively if it is not a subsidiary of a regulated bank

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 October, 2016, 8:37pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 October, 2016, 10:51pm

Global private equity firm Permira said on Wednesday that it would acquire Bank of East Asia’s Tricor Holdings for HK$6.47 billion.

Tricor, founded in 2000, offers back office services to corporates around the world, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.

Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Permira’s head of Asia, Alex Emery, described the acquisition of Tricor as a “rare opportunity” citing as reasons the company’s position in the market, its management team and growth prospects for the corporate services sector in the region.

“Corporate services in Asia are a growth market both because of the level of foreign direct investment into Asia-Pacific, and because Tricor’s existing clients are growing and require more services,” said Emery.

He said that Permira was open to acquiring more professional services firms in the future, and had recently acquired a number of other legal and professional services companies around the world.

BEA is Hong Kong’s largest independent bank, and held just over 75 per cent of Tricor, with the remaining stake being held by NWS Holdings.

BEA FINALISES TRICOR DEAL

David Li Kwok Po, BEA’s chairman and chief executive said in a statement that: “As part of our regular review of our portfolio and after careful assessment, we believe that Tricor will be able to develop more effectively if it is not a subsidiary of a regulated bank.”

In a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange, BEA said that the disposal would “generate cash proceeds for strategic opportunities relating to the bank’s core banking business and improve the bank’s capital position.”

BEA expects to book a profit of approximately HK$3.1 billion from the sale of Tricor.

In August BEA announced a fall in pretax profits of 30 per cent, which it attributed to challenging operating conditions.

Earlier this year the bank exited its securities businesses, Tung Shing Holdings and BEA Wealth Management Taiwan, closed the physical branches in its brokerage business, East Asia Securities and sold eight floors of its BEA Tower in Beijing for a HK$396 million profit.

BEA is also currently involved in a legal dispute with one of its shareholders, US based hedge fund Eliott Advisors.

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