Private equity giant Apax Partners plans to open offices in Shanghai and Beijing later this year as it bids to increase Asia-based business to a third of its global portfolio, up from the current 10%, the Financial Times reported. Apax already has a presence in eight other countries and has maintained an office in Hong Kong since 2005. Martin Halusa, the company’s CEO, also told the paper that "low-level, low-intensity talks" had been held with several sovereign wealth funds over the possibility of buying stakes in Apax’s management company. Halusa sees establishing an Asia presence as one of his three big challenges this year, alongside protecting current investments from the credit crisis and seeking out new investments opportunities created by it. Apax has completed 13 deals since it started raising its new US$17 billion fund in March 2007.