Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd., the world’s largest listed jeweler, was among companies that had weighed bids for Japanese pearl necklace brand Tasaki & Co., though it didn’t make an offer, people with knowledge of the matter said.
MBK Partners Ltd., the private-equity firm that controls Tasaki, reached out in April to a number of potential buyers including Chow Tai Fook to gauge their interest, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information. The Hong Kong jeweler didn’t end up bidding, two of the people said. Tasaki has a market value of 12.1 billion yen ($98 million), which doesn’t include the value of preference shares that MBK is selling.
A sale agreement could be reached as early as next month, one of the people said.
Masahiko Tanaka, an investor relations manager at Tasaki, said the company isn’t in a position to comment on MBK’s activities. A representative for Chow Tai Fook, who asked not to be named citing company policy, said the company has “no intention to acquire anything at this moment.” Seikyu Hong, an external spokesman for MBK at Weber Shandwick in Seoul, declined to comment.
MBK, which was founded by former Carlyle Group LP executives, had started an auction of its Tasaki preference shares, which are convertible into new common stock equal to more than 75 percent of the company, people with knowledge of the matter said last month.