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Chinese Companies Embrace Privatization

Camelot Information Systems and Simcere Pharmaceutical Group are each exploring buyout offers, while Ambow Education Holding considers going-private

Camelot Information Systems Inc. (NYSE: CIS) and Simcere Pharmaceutical Group (NYSE: SCR) are each exploring buyout offers from their respective chairmen, while Ambow Education Holding Ltd. (NYSE: AMBO) considers a going-private proposal from a private equity firm.

Chairman and chief executive Simon Yiming Ma, with president Heidi Chou and executive vice president Yuhui Wang, have proposed to acquire all of Camelot's outstanding shares for $1.85 per American Depository share (ADS) in a deal that values the company at $82 million.

Meanwhile, Jinsheng Ren, the chairman of Simcere's board, looks to take the medication distributor private. Ren looks to facilitate the deal through New Good Management, a company he formed, as well as Assure Ahead, which owns a stake in Simcere, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The offer, as of March 21, amounts to roughly $9.56 per ADS and $4.78 per ordinary share in cash. The company's shares closed at $7.96 before the deal was announced.

Camelot provides financial industry information technology in China to the financial services, resources, energy, manufacturing, automobile, technology, media and education sectors.

Ambow's proposal came from shareholder Baring Asia Private Equity Fund V LP, for $1.46 in cash per each ADS, and $0.73 for each class A and class B share. The total deal is valued at around $105 million. The company provides education and career enhancement services in China.

Nanjing-based Simcere, Beijing-based Camelot and Beijing-based Ambow have each formed special committees to consider their respective offers.

Whether the companies follow in the footsteps of Chinese company ShangPharma, which went private in a $173 million deal in March. remains to be seen.


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