Better terms win Morgan Stanley $4.8 billion Ping An share placement deal: sources

Wed Dec 3, 2014 5:07am EST
 
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HONG KONG (Reuters) - A lucrative, last-minute pitch by Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Quote) won it the role of sole placing agent for last week's $4.8 billion stake sale in Ping An Insurance Group Co of China Ltd 2318.HK, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Ping An was initially working with Credit Suisse CSGN.VX and Goldman Sachs (GS.N: Quote) for the share placement, but decided to drop the two banks after they did not garner the volume of orders the insurer wanted at the terms it proposed, the people said.

Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and Goldman declined to comment on the placement. Ping An executives were not immediately available to comment. The sources declined to be identified as the details of the deal were not public.

The sources said Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs tried twice to come up with terms that Ping An would accept.

During the first attempt, the banks were able to secure commitments worth $2.7 billion by offering stakes at an 8 percent discount to the stocks' last trading price on Nov. 6. Ping An had asked for a trading halt on Nov. 7 after the stock market regulator approved the placement.

Details of the second attempt, which took place a few days ago, were not immediately available, the sources added.

Morgan Stanley secured the deal by bringing together a smaller group of investors who were willing to buy a bigger stake at a smaller discount, the sources said. The new shares were eventually sold at a 4.7 percent discount to the stocks' Nov. 28 close, they added.

Ping An had asked Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs to match the terms offered by Morgan Stanley, but the two investment banks could not, IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication, reported.

The founders of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N: Quote) and Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK: Quote) were among a consortium of about 10 investors who eventually bought into the Ping An share placement on December 1.

(Reporting by Fiona Lau and Elzio Barreto; Writing by Denny Thomas; Editing by)

 
The corporate logo of financial firm Morgan Stanley is pictured on a building in San Diego, California September 24, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake