March 11, 2013 1:25 pm

Investors sign up for Matahari share sale

Temasek, BlackRock and Capital Research and Management are among 15 global investors signed up to buy one-third of the $1.36bn share sale in Indonesian retailer Matahari, highlighting the demand for exposure to the country’s consumers.

Private equity firm CVC Partners led a buyout of the business in 2010 with the Government of Singapore Investment Corp as a co-investor in a deal that valued the business at $870m at 2010 prices.

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The strong initial interest in Matahari underlines investors’ eagerness to tap into Indonesia’s fast-growing consumer market and the wider southeast Asian markets, as well as the paucity of investment opportunities in a country where big businesses are often controlled by politically connected tycoons.

Matahari, which operates 116 department stores in Indonesia, will be valued at about $3bn in the sale of up to 46 per cent of the stock, launched on Monday, handing a healthy profit to the owners, according to documents related to the deal seen by the Financial Times.

“It’s rare to see such a big block of shares in an Indonesian consumer-focused company on sale,” said one of the bankers working on the deal. “From a layman’s perspective the Indonesian stock market might look expensive, but there are few other places to buy growth in the rest of the world.”

Wilianto Ie, head of equity research for Nomura in Jakarta, said that the high valuation for Matahari may prompt other retailers in Indonesia to consider share sales, although many owners remain reluctant to sell controlling stakes in profitable businesses.

The share sale, which is being marketed by banks at Rp10,000-Rp11,250 per share, values the company at 25-28 times prospective 2013 earnings.

CVC, which controls 57 per cent; GIC, which owns 14 per cent; and Multipolar, an affiliate of the business empire controlled by Indonesia’s Riady family, which holds almost 25 per cent, will all sell stock in the company. Matahari has remained listed in Jakarta since 2010 because 2 per cent of shareholders refused to sell in the CVC-led buyout.

In an unusual move, GIC has also committed to buying 1.8 per cent of the company as a cornerstone investor in the share sale, in spite of being one of the main selling current shareholders, according to the documents. GIC declined to comment.

Cornerstone investors commit to buying a certain number of shares and pledge to hold them typically for six months in return for a guarantee that they will get the amount of stock they want.

Other cornerstone investors in the deal, according to the documents, include Fullerton Fund Management, which is part of Temasek, the Singapore state investment fund, hedge funds including Och-Ziff and Hong Kong-based Azentus, and the investment arms of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

The cornerstones will take 32 per cent of the shares and no single investor among them will hold more than 5 per cent of the company. CIMB, Morgan Stanley and UBS are running the sale.

Additional reporting by Jeremy Grant in Singapore

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