Carlyle Offers $618 Million Deal QSR Brands

The Carlyle Group has offered 1.9 billion Malaysian ringgit ($618.8 million) for Malaysia’s QSR Brands, the majority owner of KFC and Pizza Hut in Malaysia, Reuters reported. QSR is currently owned by Malaysian planter Kulim. The offer by Carlyle tops a previous offer by Malaysian businessman Halim Saad, Reuters said.

(Reuters) – Malaysian planter Kulim on Thursday said private equity firm Carlyle had offered to acquire QSR Brands for about 1.94 billion Malaysian ringgit ($618.8 million), topping a previous offer from a company linked to Malaysian tycoon Halim Saad.

Carlyle Asia’s [CYL.UL] offer of 6.70 ringgit a share for the majority owner of KFC and Pizza Hut in Malaysia is 20 percent more than Idaman Saga’s offer of 5.60 ringgit a share earlier this week and QSR’s current stock price.

Kulim, which gets about 60 percent of its profits from its plantations business, holds a 55 percent stake in QSR Brands.

The sale of QSR Brands will provide a quick injection of about 1.07 billion ringgit for Kulim, which is owned by the debt-laden Johor Corp — the investment arm of Malaysia’s Johor state bordering Singapore.

QSR’s sale will automatically trigger a general offer for KFC Holdings , the jewel in QSR’s stable of companies.

KFC, the 51 percent-owned subsidiary of QSR, is the present holder of the Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises in Malaysia and Singapore.

In a statement to the local bourse, Kulim said QSR and its subsidiaries will not raise capital or declare dividend, while Carlyle conducts due diligence on the company.

Carlyle, a US buyout fund with $90.9 billion in assets under management, has been eyeing deals in emerging markets of Asia and Africa. Earlier this year, it had raised an additional $2.55 billion for deals in Asia, taking the total of Carlyle capital committed to Asia outside of Japan to more than $5 billion. ($1=3.135 Malaysian Ringgit) (Reporting by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty; Editing by David Chance)