Blackstone Sold Stake in China’s Dili Group

Buyout shop Blackstone Group sold its stake in Chinese agricultural group Dili Group earlier this year, Reuters reported, citing news from the Financial Times. The firm sold its stake after Dili warned Blackstone that its involvement would complicate efforts to raise prices, Reuters wrote. Last year, Unilever was fined in China to the tune of $309,3000 for talking about increasing prices, Reuters said.

(Reuters) – U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group sold its stake in Dili Group earlier this year after the Chinese agricultural group warned Blackstone that its involvement would complicate moves to raise prices, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

Blackstone sold its stake in Dili, the parent company of a Shandong province vegetable trader, weeks before consumer product giant Unilever (UNc.AS) was fined in China, the FT said, citing three sources familiar with the matter.

“Raising prices on food is sensitive, especially when a foreign private equity firm is involved,” the newspaper quoted one person with knowledge of the matter as saying.

Blackstone was not immediately available for comment.

In May, China’s National Development and Reform Commission fined Unilever 2 million yuan ($309,300) for talking about increasing prices, citing that the company’s comments had intensified consumers’ “inflationary expectations”. ($1=6.467 Yuan) (Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)