Singapore’s GIC partners China’s CDH for Philips’ home appliances bid

The logo of Philips is seen at the company's entrance. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC has teamed up with Chinese asset manager CDH Investments to submit a joint offer for the $3.6 billion home appliance business of Philips, two sources told Reuters.

The duo is facing competition from Asia-focused private equity firm Hillhouse Capital and a consortium of Citic Capital, Sequoia and TCL Capital, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Philips has put pressure on the bidders to finalise their binding offers by the end of March and raised the prospect of ditching the sale and pursuing an alternative listing of the business, which produces coffee machines, vacuum cleaners and air fryers.

Philips declined to comment while none of the bidders were immediately available out of business hours.

The sale is a central part of Philips’ transformation into a health technology business focused entirely on hospital equipment and personal health products.

Once a sprawling conglomerate, the Amsterdam-based company has narrowed its focus in recent years, spinning off the lighting and consumer electronics divisions for which it was previously best known.

Philips’ home appliance unit is valued at about 3 billion euros ($3.64 billion) and appeals to Asian bidders since the bulk of its manufacturing operations takes place in China, the sources said.

The Dutch technology giant kicked off the auction process last year and although it wants to wrap it up by the end of the first quarter, the sources said some of the bidders may face delays in completing due diligence and securing financing.

CDH is, however, determined to snap up the unit and has teamed up with GIC which already owns stakes in Western companies including British insurer Rothesay Life and Italian cosmetics firm Intercos, one of the sources said.

In the event of delays Philips will gauge appetite for an initial public offering (IPO) of the business and has hired Lazard to start the preparation work for a possible float on an Asian exchange, a third source said.

“The IPO project remains at an early stage. It will gain traction if Chinese bidders can’t get their act together,” he said.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.