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Report: Permira in advanced talks to buy Bank of East Asia's share registry unit

Private equity firm Permira is close to buying 's shareregistry unit Tricor Holdings, Reuters reported Sept. 28, citing "peoplefamiliar with the matter."

The two parties are said to be in advanced talks and Permiracould buy the unit for between US$750 million and US$800 million. The companieshave not yet signed a formal deal.

The private equity firm is likely to fund the deal witharound US$450 million in equity funds and debt.

Permira and Bank of East Asia declined to comment on thereport, according to Reuters.

The finalbidders for the unit included Vistra Group, a unit of Baring AsiaPrivate Equity, Ping An Insurance(Group) Co. of China Ltd., Permira and two other entities.

If the proposed deal pushes through, it would be the firstmajor sale for Bank of East Asia.

Bank of East Asia owns a 75.6% stake in Tricor Holdings,while the rest is owned by Hong Kong port operator NWS Holdings Ltd. NWSHoldings is also expected to sell its stake in the business.