Japanese retailer Aeon hires banks to advise on Matahari deal

Japanese retailer Aeon Company Ltd (TYO:8267) and Thai The Central Group have appointed investment banks as advisors on a possible bid for Indonesian retailer PT Matahari Department Store, a portfolio company of UK private equity firm CVC Capital Partners Ltd, Reuters reported Friday, quoting unidentified sources in the know.

Central Group would act via a unit, Reuters said.

The investment company aims to sell the Indonesian retailer for as much as USD3.5bn (EUR2.6bn), the insiders told the agency.

According to a report by Reuters of October 2012, CVC had hired banks to help it offload its 80% interest in the Indonesian company.

CVC may also proceed with a public placement of its shares in Matahari if there are no suitors for the business before a tentative March deadline, Reuters noted. The private equity firm is pondering a share sale to institutional investors, which may fetch up to USD1.5bn, the sources told the agency.

CVC did not wish to comment on the matter, when reached by Reuters, while the tipped potential suitors denied plans for buying PT Matahari.

French retailer Carrefour exists Indonesia in €525m deal

French retail major Carrefour SA (EPA:CA) on Tuesday announced a EUR525m (USD671.5m) deal to sell the 60% stake it holds in its Indonesian unit to local partner CT Corp, as part of an ongoing strategy to focus on core operations.

This deal will see CT Group becoming the sole owner of Carrefour Indonesia and Carrefour’s exclusive franchisee in this market, the vendor said. The French group expects CT to successfully develop the Carrefour brand in Indonesia and to enhance its position in the country.

A partnership agreement sealed in April 2010, gave CT a 40% interest in Carrefour Indonesia. Carrefour set foot on this market in 1998 and now has 84 outlets in the country, generating net sales of EUR1bn last year, it said.

Subject to securing anti-trust approvals in Indonesia, the deal is expected to wrap up in January 2013.

Carrefour runs 9,900 stores in 30 countries, claiming the top position among the European retailers and the second place in the global sector.

Indonesia’s national oil company PT Pertamina acquires Harvest’s Venezuelan assets

HNR Energia BV, a wholly owned subsidiary of US oil exploration company Harvest Natural Resources Inc (NYSE: HNR), has entered into a definitive share purchase agreement (SPA) that will see Indonesia’s national oil company PT Pertamina (Persero) pay USD725m (EUR578m) in cash for Harvest’s Venezuelan assets.

Under the terms of the transaction, PT Pertamina will acquire the 32% stake held by Harvest in Petrodelta SA through buying HNR Energia’s 80% holding in Harvest-Vinccler Dutch Holding BV. Texas-based Harvest said it expected the deal to produce net gains of about USD525m after transaction costs and taxes are deducted.

One closing condition is the receipt of approvals from the governments of Venezuela and Indonesia. The SPA can be terminated by either side in case that all closing conditions have not been met by 21 March 2013.

Harvest’s president and CEO James A. Edmiston described the entry into the SPA as a major step towards completing the execution of the strategic alternatives initiative Harvest launched in 2010. The deal is testament to Petrodelta’s potential and underscores the success achieved by Harvest and Petrleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) during their 20-year partnership.

Edmiston went on to add that the transaction would provide numerous future options for Harvest and its shareholders. Furthermore, it will give Petrodelta and PDVSA an international partner with the strength and financial means to ensure Petrodelta’s future success.