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Bain and Blackstone join Coles Myer bid

Bain Capital, The Blackstone Group and Pacific Equity Partners are joining a consortium of buyout firms that has approached Coles Myer with a takeover offer.

Shares of Coles Myer rose as much as 6.5 percent in Australia today to a record following reports indicating that three private equity firms are joining a consortium that includes including Kohlberg Kravis Roberts that has already approached the retailer with a takeover offer, reported to be worth at least A$16 billion.  It would be Australia’s largest ever buyout.

Bain Capital, Blackstone Group and Pacific Equity Partners are joining KKR, The Carlyle Group, CVC Asia Pacific, Newbridge Capital and Goldman Sachs, according to a report by Bloomberg which cited four people familiar with the offer.

Pacific Equity Partners, an Australian private equity firm founded by former Bain consultants, has close links to the Boston buyout group.

As recently as last week, the trio was considering making a separate offer for Coles Myer, owner of supermarkets, Kmart stores and liquor outlets across Australia, according to Bloomberg sources.

The banding of not five but eight known private equity names in the approach for Coles Myer boosted the company’s shares to a high of A$13.92 a share today  and closed at A$13.80, from A$13.07 a share at the close of trading in Australia yesterday, 24 August.

This follows a 12 percent jump on 17 August, the day the company first disclosed that it has been approached.

Earlier this week, Coles Myer chairman said in a statement filed with the exchange the “highly conditional proposal” from a consortium of leveraged buyout funds would proceed only with the support of the company’s board.