Metro bids for EQT’s Classic Fine Foods, say sources-Reuters

(Reuters) – German retail group Metro has made a tentative bid for private equity-owned, Singapore-based Classic Fine Foods in a deal potentially worth $300-$400 million including debt, three sources familiar with the deal said.

Several other bidders also handed in bids by a deadline last week, the sources said.

Metro is aiming to expand its Asian operations with the planned acquisition of the group which supplies upmarket hotels and restaurants with high-quality dairy, meat, pastry, seafood, pasta and dry products, the sources said.

EQT bought Classic Fine Foods in 2011, hoping to benefit from an expected strong growth in the Asian high-end foods market, following economic growth in the region and an increased consumer taste for Western cuisine.

Metro and EQT declined to comment.

Metro has said it expects to become more active in acquisitions in future, starting small but potentially building up to “sizeable” deals.