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U.A.E.’s National Food Products Said to Abandon Stake-Sale Plan

  • Bidders questioned cost and value of expansion, person says
  • Stake sale may have valued company at about $1.5 billion

National Food Products Co., which attracted interest from private-equity firms such as KKR & Co and Blackstone Group LP, has abandoned plans to sell a stake in the company, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

The sale was suspended after bidders questioned the value and cost of an expansion project, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The company has decided to carry out the expansion plan by itself and may revive the sale process in 2018, the person said.

Private-equity firms KKR & Co., Blackstone Group LP and Dubai-based Fajr Capital are among bidders competing with Saudi Arabian dairy company Almarai Co. for a stake in National Food, people familiar with the matter said in April. The sale may have valued the entire business at about $1.5 billion, the people said.

National Food initiated a competitive sale process and invited Almarai, which operates a joint venture with PepsiCo Inc., to proceed with due diligence for a controlling stake in the company, Almarai said in a statement on the Saudi stock exchange in April.

No one at National Food could be immediately reached by phone or e-mail for comment.

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