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Venture to offer M&A advice

China's CITIC Securities Co has teamed up with United States-based Evercore Partners Inc to set up an investment-banking venture which will offer advice on cross-border mergers and manage investments.

The new venture, CITIC Securities International Partners, will be headed by former Bear Stearns Cos vice chairman Donald Tang, according to separate statements by the two companies yesterday.

The investment bank will focus on sourcing and effecting transactions between China and other international markets, the statements said. It will also manage a China-focused private equity business.

Chinese firms undertook mergers and acquisitions worth a combined value of US$156.9 billion last year, a jump of 44 percent year on year, while the value of M&As globally tumbled nearly 30 percent in 2008.

Beijing-based CITIC Securities ranked second in advising Chinese companies on M&A activities last year, behind China International Capital Corp, according to Bloomberg News data.

"This strategic cooperation initiative with CITIC Securities facilitates our clients' access to the Chinese market," said Roger Altman, chairman and chief executive officer of Evercore Partners.

New York-based Evercore, which was founded in 1996 by Roger Altman, former US deputy treasury secretary, aims to further globalize its business and expand into wealth management.

CITIC Securities inked a deal with Bear Stearns in 2007 to invest US$1 billion in each other and to market financial products in China. Tang, former chairman of Bear Stearns Asia, was leading the negotiations with Citic at that time.

But the agreement fell through in 2008 as the worsening credit crisis dented the market value of Bear Stearns. JPMorgan Chase & Co bought Bear Stearns in March 2008 to prevent its collapse.


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