Standard Chartered Bids on China Retail Assets

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Standard Chartered’s (STAN.L) private equity unit, Chinese conglomerate Fosun Group and three other bidders are vying to buy two Chinese retailers and other assets from investment firm Global Mart Ltd in a deal expected to fetch about 500 million yuan ($73 million), people familiar with the matter said.

Global Mart, founded in 2005 by several Australian investors targeting China’s retail sector, is selling its 80 percent stake in Joindoor Hypermarket and 100 percent of Whacko supermarket, as part of an effort to repay $75 million in debt, the sources said. Both retailers are based in central China’s Hunan province.

Global Mart could not immediately be reached for comment, while Fosun and Standard Chartered declined to comment. An investor relations official at Your-Mart Co Ltd 002277.SZ, which the sources said was also among the competing bidders, said she was not aware of such a bid plan.

Proceeds from the sale would be used to repay creditors and note holders including Australian investment firm Keybridge Capital (KBC.AX) and Philippine conglomerate JG Summit Holdings Inc (JGS.PS), the sources added. ($1=6.83 Yuan) (Reporting by Samuel Shen and Edmund Klamann; Additional reporting by Helen Ding)