Singapore’s Dairy Farm International Holdings and South Korea’s Lotte Shopping have joined a race with other two Thai retailers to acquire French supermarket operator Casino
Group’s Thai and Vietnam units, Reuters reported.
, Thailand’s biggest retailer led by tycoon Tos Chirathivat, has advanced interest in buying Casino’s wholly owned unit, Big C Vietnam, which may have a price tag of between $800 million and $1 billion, and Casino’s 58.6% stake in Thailand’s Big C, worth around $3.1 billion at current market prices.
Central Group already owns a 25% stake of Big C Supercenter Pcl, Thailand’s second-largest discount retailer which it founded in 1993.
Public Co, the listed retail arm of Charoen’s TCC group, has said it is keen on in Casino’s Vietnam unit and bankers also expect TCC to make an offer for the Thai unit.
“Whoever is going to buy this will have to pay a high price to get Central out or they will have to co-exist,” the UK agency cited a banking source familiar with the matter as saying.
A separate banking source said Casino was keen to sell both units to the same bidder.
The bidder seen most likely to give Central Group a run for its money is Thai business magnate Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, who is keen to expand further in retail, according to Reuters.
Dairy Farm, a member of the Jardine Matheson Group, had total annual sales in 2014 exceeding $13 billion. As of June 2015, the group and its associates and joint ventures operated over 6,400 outlets and employed over 170,000 people.
Meanwhile, Lotte Shopping, the largest department store chain in South Korea, had revenue of $23 billion and earned a profit of $509 million in 2014.