TCC Said to Agree to $3.5 Billion Takeover of Casino's Thai Unitby
Billionaire Charoen buying chain from French grocery owner
Deal for Big C Supercenter to be announced as soon as Monday
TCC Holding Co., led by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, has agreed to buy control of Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA’s Thailand hypermarket chain for about $3.5 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said.
TCC agreed to purchase Casino’s 58.6 percent stake in Bangkok-listed Big C Supercenter Pcl, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. The deal could be announced as soon as Monday, according to two of the people.
A deal would add to the $50.6 billion of acquisitions in Southeast Asia over the past 12 months, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Casino has said it plansto raise 4 billion euros ($4.5 billion) by selling assetsthis year, including its operations in Thailand and Vietnam.
Central Group, backed by Thailand’s Chirathivat family, had also been weighing a bid for Casino’s stake in Big C Supercenter, people with knowledge of the matter said last month. Representatives for Charoen and Berli Jucker Pcl, the Bangkok-listed consumer goods distributor controlled by TCC, didn’t immediately answer calls to their offices outside regular business hours. Spokeswomen for Casino didn’t immediately return phone calls seeking comment.
The Wall Street Journal reported the agreement with TCC earlier, citing unidentified people.
Shares of Big C Supercenter have gained 12 percent this year, giving it a market value of 187.3 billion baht ($5.3 billion). The company had 580 stores in Thailand at the end of March 2014, ranging from hypermarkets to convenience stores, according to its website.
TCC, controlled by Thailand’s richest man, agreed last year to buy Metro AG’s Cash & Carry wholesale business in Vietnam for 655 million euros. The conglomerate acquired control of Singapore food and beverage maker Fraser & Neave Ltd.in 2013.