Carlyle, Suntory Lead Race for Stake in GarudaFood

By webadmin on 01:40 pm May 31, 2011
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Janeman Latul and Saeed Azhar

Jakarta/Singapore. 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.

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 snapped up finance, resource and consumer plays.

Deals by private equity firms in Indonesia have picked up in the past year as intense competition in hot markets such as China and India encourages global buyout firms to push into fast-growing emerging markets in Southeast Asia.

Indonesia’s Tudung Group is offering its stake in GarudaFood, which sells instant food, peanuts, and other snacks globally.

“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.

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.

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.