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Investment firm withdraws offer for Ambow

NEW YORK (AP) -- Struggling Chinese education company Ambow Education Holding Ltd. on Tuesday revealed that a private equity fund once interested in taking it private has withdrawn its offer.

Ambow said its board received a letter from the Baring Asia Private Equity Fund stating that it was withdrawing the proposal to buy the company that it made earlier this month.

The investment firm cited a variety of unexpected events, including the resignations of three of Ambow's independent directors and its independent auditor, along with the suspension of trading of the company's American depository shares on the New York Stock Exchange.

Ambow said last week that its auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers Zhong Tian CPAs Ltd., resigned as a result of concerns over an investigation into claims of financial impropriety made by a former employee.

Baring said in its letter that it remains open to a new deal with the company, including the acquisition of all or part of it, once its problems are resolved, Ambow said.

Ambow shares went public in August 2010 and rose as which as $14.40 by the end of the year, but it started to drop in 2011. Over the past year, the stock has lost about 87 percent of its value. It was down to 95 cents when trading was suspended Friday,