China's state assets regulators cleared the way for San Francisco-based Newbrige Capital to buy 18% of the Shenzhen Development Bank. The decision clears the final hurdle for Newbridge to become the first overseas investor to gain control of a Chinese lender. The sale was approved by the Chinese banking regulator in September. The deal will see the US private equity firm spend $145 million to buy 348.1 million non-tradable shares from the bank's Chinese shareholders, making Newbridge the biggest single shareholder. The firm is now discussing board changes and has agreed not to sell its holding for at least five years.
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