Competition over Unilever’s spreads business is hotting up as Singapore’s wealth fund has entered the fray.
The Sinagaporean state’s Government Investment Corporation (GIC) has agreed to back KKR, one of the world’s biggest buyout firms, in its bid for the operation according to Sky News monitored by City A.M.
Unilever’s spreads include some of the world’s most well-known brands such as Flora and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.
The GIC has stakes in various British firms including the RAC, while KKR holds investments in Pets at Home and Go Daddy among others.
KKR and the state-backed fund have teamed up in an attempt to outbid rivals’ offers, giving investors hope that the £6bn price tag could be achieved.
Blackstone and CVC Capital Partners have already teamed up for a joint bid, while another consortium of Clayton Dubilier & Rice with Bain Capital is also thought to be in the running.
Sources have said that while there is strong interest from private equity houses, the hefty price tag would likely be too large for one firm to commit alone.
The intention to either sell or demerge the spreads division was announced two months after Unilever was approached regarding a possible takeover by Kraft Heinz.
Frontpage December 12, 2018