KKR, Blackstone, Bain eyeing Singapore logistics company CWT

Visual from the company website

Private equity firms KKR, Blackstone and Bain Capital have made informal approach for buying CWT Ltd, according to a Reuters report, in a deal that estimates the value Singapore’s largest logistics company at approximately S$1.6 billion ($1.2 billion).

PE firms interest in CWT comes as its controlling shareholder flagged a potential sale of the business. C&P Holdings Pte Ltd, which has a 32 per cent stake in CWT, is considering a strategic review of C&P’s business and assets, CWT said on Monday.

The last decade has seen the company expand by growing its logistics business globally and acquiring a metals trading unit established by Glencore founder Marc Rich in 2011. Citing an executive familiar with the deal, Reuters reported that “The logistics business has decent growth rates and that works nicely for sponsors. The logistics play is very active lately.”

In February, Japan Post Holdings agreed to buy Australian freight and logistics firm Toll Holdings for A$6.50 billion ($4.76 billion). In the same month, freight carrier Kintetsu World Express agreed to purchase Singapore’s APL Logistics for $1.2 billion.

These were valuations that exceeded market expectations. CWT could potentially fetch S$1.4 billion – S$1.6 billion, Maybank Kim Eng Research said in a report, with a current market value of S$1.26 billion.

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According to Reuters, the PE firms have sounded out CWT’s shareholders but there has been no formal approach as of yet. Other potential for CWT are Japan Post and Nippon Express. CWT currently employs around 6000 people and reported record revenue and operating profit last year.

C&P, in which CWT chairman Loi Kai Meng has a significant holding, acquired shareholding control of the logistics firm in 2004. Thomson Reuters data indicates that CWT insiders, including the chairman and his family, maintain ownership of close to 65 percent of CWT.

CWT has publicly stated there is no assurance of a transaction, though Credit Suisse and DBS are assisting C&P’s shareholders with the review, and as such as positioned to assist in the underwriting of such a deal. Under Singapore’s rules, a bid for a 30 percent or greater stake in a publicly-listed firms will trigger a mandatory general offer for the entire firm.

According to a source the Reuters cited, “The assets are strategic and there is a lot of interest in the sale.”

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Logistics: ASEAN’s Next Big Thing?

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.

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.