UPDATE 1-Huawei narrows list of mobile unit bidders-sources

jueves 3 de julio de 2008 07:48 CEST

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By Michael Flaherty

HONG KONG, July 3 (Reuters) - Huawei Technologies, China's largest mobile phone equipment maker, has narrowed the field of bidders for a stake in its mobile devices unit reported to be worth more than $2 billion to five private equity companies, sources said on Thursday.

Bain Capital, Goldman Sach's (GS.N: Cotización) private equity group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Silver Lake made it through the first round of bidding, sources involved with the deal said.

Mid-size company AEA Investors -- best known for the whopping profit it made in selling the U.S. personal products company Burt's Bees last year, also made it onto the list for the second round of bidding. Its bid is being led by managing director Bill Owens, the former CEO of telecommunications equipment maker Nortel Networks Corp NT.TO NT.N, sources said.

Huawei's fast-growing mobile devices unit doubled revenues last year to more than $2 billion, sources said, with cash flows of around $250 million.

A deal for a roughly 50 percent stake in the unit would be one of the largest acquisitions in mainland China this year.

The Wall Street Journal said earlier the mobile devices unit is valued at $4 billion based on the offers.

One source said that Blackstone Group (BX.N: Cotización), Carlyle Group and TPG Capital did not make it into the second round of bidding.   Continuación...