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Swire Pacific may bid for retailer Courts Asia

Feb. 3, 2012 (China Knowledge) - Swire Pacific Ltd<0019><0087>, a Hong Kong-based conglomerate with businesses mainly in property, aviation, beverage, marine services and trading, is preparing to bid for electronics and furniture retailer Courts Asia Ltd, said two persons familiar with the matter.

Courts Asia is valued at nearly US$400 million, the sources added.

Swire Pacific, the parent co of Swire Properties Ltd<1972>, and Courts Asia both have yet commented on the news.

Courts Asia was founded by Baring Private Equity Asia Ltd in 2008 with the merger of an electronics retailer and a furniture retailer. The PE fund has tried to list Courts Asia to raise S$170 million but failed eventually.

Asia Retail Group and Baring Private Equity Asia hired HSBC Holdings Plc and BNP Paribas SA last October to spin off Courts Asia.

Courts Asia currently owns 10 outlets in Singapore and 52 outlets Malaysia, sources reported.

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