Private equity firm Carlyle is teaming up with Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Group to bid for ParknShop, according to a source familiar with the matter. The joint bid is seen as one of the frontrunners for the supemarket chain.
The two have an existing relationship. In 2010, Carlyle acquired $175 million of convertible preference shares and options in CP Pokphand from CP Group.
ParknShop is owned by Hutchison Whampoa, which is controlled by Asia’s richest man Li Ka-shing. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs are advising Hutchison Whampoa.
The other bidders include China Resources Enterprise, Woolworths and Japanese retailer Aeon.
Thailand's CP Group, controlled by Thai billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont, has been hugely acquisitive. The group this year concluded its purchase of a stake in Chinese insurer Ping An, while its unit CP All bought Siam Makro this year - the country's biggest takeover.
CP was also one of the bidders for US hog producer Smithfield Foods, but it lost out to China's Shuanghui International.
A spokeswoman for Carlyle declined to comment.
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