UPDATE 1-Bain, Silver Lake submit offers for Huawei unit-sources

martes 30 de septiembre de 2008 08:09 CEST

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By Michael Flaherty

HONG KONG, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Private equity firms Bain Capital and Silver Lake have submitted formal offers for a stake in Huawei Technologies' mobile handset unit, sources involved with the matter said, as the auction proceeds despite turmoil in global markets.

While suitors often come and go in corporate auctions, it appears as if Bain and Silver Lake are the remaining bidders for a controlling stake in the unit of China's largest mobile phone equipment maker. Formal bids for the deal were due last Friday.

The unit was expected to be worth more than $3.5 billion when the auction started earlier this year.

Though a firm may still pay a premium for a 50 percent-plus stake in the business, growing pressure on the handset sector plus tumbling financial markets make it less likely buyers will want to pay up for the asset, sources say.

The sources did not want to be named because of the deal's sensitivity.

Huawei and Bain did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment. Silver Lake declined to comment.

Several private equity firms including AEA Investors, General Atlantic, Providence Equity Partners and Goldman Sachs' (GS.N: Cotización) buyout arm are no longer part of the process, sources said, making the Huawei deal a two-horse race.   Continuación...