Baring PE, CVC among suitors to be shortlisted for $1.5b Godiva Asia sale

Godiva chocolates sit on the shelf inside a Boston, Massachusetts Godiva Boutique Friday, August 10, 2007. Campbell Soup Co. may sell its Godiva chocolate brand to focus on increasing global sales of healthier soups, snacks and beverages.Photographer: JB Reed/ Bloomberg News

Baring Private Equity Asia and CVC Capital Partners are among suitors that were picked to make final offers for Asia-Pacific assets being sold by premium chocolatier Godiva, people with knowledge of the matter said.

North Asian buyout firm MBK Partners and Marunouchi Capital, an investment arm of Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp., were also shortlisted to proceed to the next round of bidding, according to the people. The assets could fetch as much as $1.5 billion, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.

The confectioner’s owner Yildiz Holding AS has asked for final offers to be submitted in the next few weeks, the people said. No final decisions have been made, and details of the potential deal may change, said the people.

Istanbul-based Yildiz, which also owns British biscuit maker McVitie’s, is pursuing the sale amid a push to cut debt after years of acquisitions. Bloomberg News reported in November that it’s seeking to offload Godiva’s Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand divisions.

Representatives for Baring, CVC, Marunouchi Capital, MBK and Yildi declined to comment.

The Japan unit, with 2017 sales of about $350 million, is the largest of the businesses up for sale, people familiar with the matter said in November. Yildiz bought Godiva over a decade ago from Campbell Soup Co. for $850 million. Godiva was founded in Belgium more than 90 years ago and has a presence in over 100 countries.

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Bloomberg