Brandes Investment Partners Announces Opposition to AsiaInfo-Linkage Privatization Offer

PR Newswire

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Brandes Investment Partners, L.P. ("Brandes"), which has acquired, over time, approximately 5% of the common stock of AsiaInfo-Linkage, Inc.  (ASIA) ("AsiaInfo-Linkage" or the "Company") for and on behalf of its investment advisory clients, today issued the following statement:

"Brandes reiterates its opposition to the pending AsiaInfo-Linkage privatization offer, which is scheduled for a shareholder vote on December 19. Brandes welcomes independent proxy advisor Institutional Shareholder Services' recommendation for shareholders to vote against the $12 per share offer, as we agree that it does not fairly represent the fundamental value of the company.  Moreover, since the proposed transaction involves a related party, we continue to believe that the process is flawed and that approval should require support from a majority of independent shareholders.

"We would also like to highlight the following considerations:

  1. The Company's takeover price was established almost two years ago, when both the stock market and industry conditions were considerably less favorable.  We believe the $12 offer price took advantage of the Company's very depressed share price of two years ago and that conditions are meaningfully better now.
  2. Today, the outlook for the Chinese telecom billing and customer relationship software industry appears much more favorable to us. China's telecom industry is in the early stages of a very aggressive 4G LTE rollout. We believe that the 4G LTE rollout and increased data usage in China will very likely lead to more upgrades and expansion in software, which could meaningfully benefit the Company. 
  3. Since the initial go-private proposal, AsiaInfo-Linkage experienced a cyclical downturn, yet managed to grow revenues by approximately 14% in 2012 and 12% in the first 9 months of 2013. Since $12 was offered almost two years ago, it gives no credit for the business value that has accrued since that time.
  4. During the period of the go-private proposal, research coverage of AsiaInfo-Linkage has faded substantially, reducing awareness of the Company among the investment community and hindering the market's ability to recognize the true value of the Company.

"In summary, Brandes will vote against the Company's go-private proposal and believes that the interests of independent shareholders will be better served by voting against the proposal as well."

About Brandes Investment Partners, L.P.
Brandes is a leading investment advisory firm that specializes in managing global equity and fixed-income assets for clients worldwide. Since the firm's inception in 1974, Brandes has consistently applied the value investing approach (pioneered by Benjamin Graham) to security selection and was among the first investment firms to bring a global perspective to value investing. The independently owned firm manages approximately $26 billion on behalf of clients in a variety of active investment strategies.

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