By Echha Jain, Yantoultra Ngui and Kane Wu
(Reuters) – Hong Kong’s Vinda International said on Friday Indonesian billionaire Sukanto Tanoto-owned Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) has made an offer to acquire the tissue and diaper maker for up to HK$26.13 billion ($3.35 billion).
RGE was one of the two final bidders looking to acquire a 52% stake in Vinda owned by Swedish tissue maker Essity, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing sources.
The offer price of HK$23.50 a share from RGE’s Isola Castle unit was at a 13.5% premium to Vinda’s closing price on Thursday. RGE said it was almost 150% higher than Vinda’s net asset value per share of HK$9.41 as at June 30 this year, according to RGE.
Vinda shares jumped as much as 8.7% to HK$22.50, a level last seen in April, on Friday following the announcement.
The deal is subject to approval by regulatory authorities, including in China, and is expected to be completed in mid-2024, according to Essity.
The deal comes as multinational companies are reviewing their presence in China or holdings in Chinese businesses amid heightened geopolitical tensions and China’s economic slowdown.
Singapore-headquartered RGE said in a statement that Vinda’s two largest shareholders including Essity which own 72.63% of the company have irrevocably undertaken to accept the offer.
Essity said in a separate statement it had accepted the offer, which would give it about HK$15 billion in cash proceeds. It had said it wanted to sell off its Vinda stake to reduce its consumer tissue division’s share of group sales.
RGE said it has no plans to overhaul Vinda’s operations, including any redeployment of the fixed assets or any major changes in Vinda’s management or employees.
“Vinda’s vision is to be Asia’s first choice for high quality hygiene products and services,” Belinda Tanoto, RGE Managing Director, said in a statement.
RGE is looking to tap into Asia’s consumer growth to “build a stronger, more efficient and more sustainable business”, she said.
Belinda, the daughter of Tanoto, acquired more than 7% of Vinda via Beaumont Capital Fund in October, Hong Kong Stock Exchange filings showed.
Founded by Tanoto in 1973, RGE has expanded into a group of resource-based manufacturing companies in businesses ranging from pulp and paper to energy with more than $30 billion in assets and 60,000 employees, according to its website.
BNP Paribas and CICC are joint financial advisers to RGE on the offer, according to RGE.
($1 = 7.8066 Hong Kong dollars)
(Reporting by Echha Jain in Bengaluru, Yantoultra Ngui in Singapore and Kane Wu in Hong Kong; Editing by Rashmi Aich, Subhranshu Sahu and Sonali Paul)