Among the buyers of PCCW's assets, it became more crowded with three funds coming in, Ashmore Investment Management, Spinnaker Capital and Clearwater Capital Partners.
This is the most interesting deal process I have seen: more and more bidders(both small and big) , and higher and higher willing-to-be-exposed price. Are the assets too good to be omitted? Or people are just too optimistics? Or Richard Li is so friendly with everyone that his asset are a must-see?
The three funds, according to their websites, are expertised in investing in debt, especially in distressed debt(one of Amy's expertised area, too). Coincidently, the three are jointly bidding for undersea cable carrier Asia Netcom, which is exactly belonged to the category "distressed debt", from China Netcom and its Beijing parent. It is said that the three will give Asia Netcom three years before a final solution. If the three also bought PCCW's alive assets, would three years too long?
So now three groups, Macquarie, Newbridge and the three-fund consortium, are in the queue. Any further one coming into this fake game?
Big bet today(just for my readers):
If I were the banker, I will approach Mr. Rupert Murdoch, who just sold 20 percent stake of Hong Kong-based Pheniox TV to China Mobile, suggesting him to buy the Now broadband TV. It will be a good choice for the Australian tycoon to buy the opportunity in the growing cable TV market in Hong Kong, and thus opening the market in China as a result. Plus, he has the cash now from China Mobile.
Big belief today:
China Netcom will never allow any foreign companies buying the whole PCCW telecom network. In the political thinking, it must be in this way. So the choices remain with China Netcom: one is to buy PCCW itself in a decent way(isn't that many bankers planning to advise China Netcom) , or the other is to refuse and never cooperate with anyone.
Interesting findings today:
Rob Petty, the managing partner of Clearwater Capital Partners LLC, based in New York, once worked with Lehman Brothers, the advisor to PCCW on the deal, for 12 years. Lehman also worked with Ashmore on raising the funds. Hmmm, financial world is always small.....