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Cash Injection to Fuel Chengde Growth
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The US private equity firm The Carlyle Group on Friday invested US$80 million to buy a 49 percent stake in Yangzhou Chengde Steel Tube Co Ltd.

The investment, made by Carlyle Asia Partners II, was completed on March 29, following regulatory approval, Carlyle said in a statement.

The investment will support Yangzhou Chengde's further growth in its domestic and overseas markets, according to the statement.

"Carlyle is a global company that has invested in major industrial companies in the world, including John Maneely Company, North America's largest steel tube manufacturer. These networks and relationships will be a great source of potential partnerships and clientele for our company," said Zhang Huaide, founder and chairman of Yangzhou Chengde.
"We intend to partner with Carlyle to drive positive changes in areas such as operational efficiency, research and development, and corporate governance to strengthen our market position," he said.

With Yangzhou Chengde's competitive cost structure, product quality and short production lead time, it can emerge as a formidable player in key overseas markets in the years ahead, said Luo Yi, managing director of Carlyle.

Yangzhou Chengde is China's leading private large-diameter seamless steel pipe manufacturer. It supplies steel pipes to many industries including the energy, power, heavy industrial, and construction sectors.

Carlyle Asia Partners II is a US$1.8 billion fund that makes strategic minority investments throughout Asia, excluding Japan.

Carlyle this month agreed to pay 1.8 billion yuan for a 45 percent stake in Xugong Group Construction Machinery Co, a second major concession it has made in the Xugong deal.

In October 2005 Carlyle agreed to buy 85 percent of Xugong for US$375 million. The takeover bid raised concern that China has been selling its strategic companies too cheaply to foreign investors.

Last August, the Ministry of Commerce and other authorities issued new rules on the acquisition of Chinese enterprises by foreign investors.

(China Daily March 31, 2007)

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