TCC for $3.5b takeover of Casino’s Thai unit

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

TCC Hold­ing Co., led by Thai bil­lion­aire Charoen Siri­vad­han­ab­hakdi, has agreed to buy con­trol of Casino Guichard-Per­ra­chon SA's Thai­land hyper­mar­ket chain for about $3.5 bil­lion, peo­ple with knowl­edge of the mat­ter said.

TCC agreed to pur­chase Casino's 58.6 per­cent stake in Bangkok-listed Big C Su­per­center Pcl, the peo­ple said, ask­ing not to be iden­ti­fied as the in­for­ma­tion is pri­vate. The deal could be an­nounced as soon as Mon­day, ac­cord­ing to two of the peo­ple.

A deal would add to the $50.6 bil­lion of ac­qui­si­tions in South­east Asia over the past 12 months, data com­piled by Bloomberg show. Casino has said it plansto raise 4 bil­lion euros ($4.5 bil­lion) by sell­ing as­set­sthis year, in­clud­ing its op­er­a­tions in Thai­land and Viet­nam.

Cen­tral Group, backed by Thai­land's Chi­rathi­vat fam­ily, had also been weigh­ing a bid for Casino's stake in Big C Su­per­center, peo­ple with knowl­edge of the mat­ter said last month. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives for Charoen and Berli Jucker Pcl, the Bangkok-listed con­sumer goods dis­trib­u­tor con­trolled by TCC, didn't im­me­di­ately an­swer calls to their of­fices out­side reg­u­lar busi­ness hours. Spokes­women for Casino didn't im­me­di­ately re­turn phone calls seek­ing com­ment.

The Wall Street Jour­nal re­ported the agree­ment with TCC ear­lier, cit­ing uniden­ti­fied peo­ple. Shares of Big C Su­per­center have gained 12 per­cent this year, giv­ing it a mar­ket value of 187.3 bil­lion baht ($5.3 bil­lion). The com­pany had 580 stores in Thai­land at the end of March 2014, rang­ing from hy­per­mar­kets to con­ve­nience stores, ac­cord­ing to its web­site.

TCC, con­trolled by Thai­land's rich­est man, agreed last year to buy Metro AG's Cash & Carry whole­sale busi­ness in Viet­nam for 655 mil­lion euros. The con­glom­er­ate ac­quired con­trol of Sin­ga­pore food and bev­er­age maker Fraser & Neave Ltd.in 2013.

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