Carlyle, Suntory In Race for GarudaFood Stake

Buyout giant the Carlyle Group and Japanese brewer Suntory are leading a race to buy a 30% stake in Indonesian consumer firm GarudaFood, Reuters reported, adding that the stake is worth more than $200 million. If Carlyle wins the bid it would be the firm’s first direct investment in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, Reuters wrote. The sale had attracted interest from private equity firms 3i Group Plc and Unitas Capital, but only Carlyle and Suntory made it to the final bidding.

(Reuters) – Private equity firm Carlyle Group and Japanese brewer Suntory are leading a race to buy a 30 percent stake in Indonesian consumer firm GarudaFood worth over $200 million, three sources with knowledge of the deal said on Tuesday.

Tudung Group, which will sell its stake, has business interests in food and the beverage industry in Indonesia and China, and its GarudaFood unit sells instant food, peanuts, and other snacks globally.

The sale attracted interest from several foreign investors, including private equity firms 3i Group Plc and Unitas Capital, but only Carlyle and Suntory made it to the final bidding, said the sources, who declined to be identified because the deal was not public.

“The deal is almost complete and we hope it could be done by mid-June, the only problem is the valuation,” said one of the sources, adding that after the deal GarudaFood expected to launch an initial public offering within one or two years to tap public funds.

If Carlyle wins the bid it would be the first direct investment made by the buyout firm in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, where rivals TPG Capital and CVC have already invested in finance, resources and consumer plays.

Tudung Group, an investment holding firm controlled by the family of founder Darmo Putro, and Carlyle were not available to comment. Suntory declined to comment.

The Tudung Group told Reuters in December a stake sale was being planned and that it had hired Barclays Capital to run the sale.

(Reporting by Janeman Latul in JAKARTA, Saeed Azhar in SINGAPORE and James Topham in TOKYO; Editing by Neil Chatterjee)