PAG fields interest for Chinese industrial gases firm AirPower -sources

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HONG KONG, Dec 7 (Businesshala) – Private equity firm PAG has held informal talks with some suitors interested in AirPower Technologies, China’s largest independent producer of industrial gases, three people familiar with the situation told Businesshala.

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Potential buyers include Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA), one of the world’s largest infrastructure investors, he said, adding that there is no certainty that the talks will result in a sale.

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Hong Kong-based PAG, which is also exploring Hong Kong’s initial public offering for Airpower, is targeting a $10 billion valuation for the company in that process, two sources said.

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AirPower is the company that was formed by PAG this year after the merger of Yingde Gases with Shanghai Baosteel Gas Group.

Sources said AirPower filed for a Hong Kong IPO in August with a goal of raising $1 billion, but added that it has not yet decided whether it will launch an offering this year.

One of the sources said that the IPO option appears to be more viable than the sale as no clear buyer has emerged for 100% of the business at this point.

A sale, however, may give the PAG a complete exit compared to a sequential sale, which typically accompanies an IPO and subsequent sale of shares, two sources said, also regarding volatility in Hong Kong’s stock market. There were concerns. IPO evaluation.

The sources declined to be named as the information was confidential.

PAG said the information obtained by Businesshala was not accurate, but did not elaborate further. MIRA did not immediately respond to a Businesshala request for comment. A representative for AirPower declined to comment.

PAG’s exit from AirPower, either through an IPO or sale, will mark the firm’s biggest ever cash-out. Led by veteran Chinese dealmaker Shan Weijian, PAG is currently aiming to raise $9 billion, which will be its biggest buyout fund ever.

PAG bought a 42% stake in Yingde Gases, China’s largest independent producer of industrial gases, in 2017 from its three co-founders for about $616 million and later took it private. A year later, it won an auction for a 51% stake in BaoSteel Gases from state-owned BaoWu Steel and later increased its stake to 65%, according to Airpower’s IPO filing.

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Reporting by Julie Zhu and Ken Wu; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee and Edwina Gibbs

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