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(Bloomberg) -- Asian private equity firm Affinity Equity Partners is nearing a deal to buy Trimco International Holdings Ltd., a Hong Kong-based maker of garment labels, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Affinity was chosen as the preferred bidder for Trimco and will now negotiate final terms of the purchase, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. A deal could value Trimco, which is controlled by Partners Group Holding AG, at more than $500 million, one of the people said.

The offer from Affinity trumped bids by Baring Private Equity Asia and Nike Inc. supplier Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings Ltd., which were also among final suitors for Trimco, people with knowledge of the matter said earlier.

Trimco makes clothing care labels, woven labels, hang tags and radio frequency identification tags used for inventory management. Partners Group, the Swiss private equity firm, bought control of the business in 2012. Trimco has production facilities in countries including China, India, Romania, Singapore, Thailand and the U.K.

Click here to read a profile of Trimco’s majority owner, Partners Group.

No final agreements have been reached, and negotiations could still fall apart, the people said. A representative for Partners Group declined to comment, while an official at Affinity wasn’t immediately available to comment.

Private equity buyers have stepped up their acquisitions of Hong Kong companies, announcing more than $8.4 billion of deals in the past two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Notable transactions included the acquisitions of two fixed-line telecommunications operators in the former British colony, as well as a purchase of the Pure Group gym chain. 

--With assistance from Sarah Syed and Cathy Chan

To contact the reporters on this story: Carol Zhong in Hong Kong at yzhong71@bloomberg.net, Annie Lee in Hong Kong at olee42@bloomberg.net, Jonathan Browning in Hong Kong at jbrowning9@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Scent at bscent@bloomberg.net, Neha D'silva at ndsilva1@bloomberg.net, Timothy Sifert

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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