CHINA (From news reports) -- Asia Pulp & Paper Co. is joining the bidding for a stake in Vinda International Holdings Ltd., according to people familiar with the matter, adding complexity to a battle for the Hong Kong-listed tissue maker.
The Indonesian pulp producer recently submitted a preliminary proposal to buy some Vinda stock from Essity AB, its majority owner, at more than HK$20 per share, the people said. APP has been in talks with lenders on financing for the potential deal, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.
APP already sells tissues in the world's second largest economy under brands such as Breeze, Emporia and Virjoy.
Shares of Vinda have fallen about 18% in Hong Kong trading this year, giving the tissue maker a market value of about $2.9 billion. Singapore-based RGE Pte has also been working with an advisers on a potential offer for Essity's stake in the company, it was reported last month. Suzano SA, the world's largest producer of hardwood pulp from Brazil, and buyout firms Bain Capital, CVC Capital Partners and DCP Capital have also been interested in the asset, people familiar with the matter have said.
There's no certainty APP will proceed with a binding bid, and other suitors could also emerge, the people said. Representatives for APP and Vinda couldn't immediately be reached for comment outside regular business hours, while a spokesperson for Essity declined to comment.
Vinda owns one of China's top tissue brands and sells products under the Tempo and Tork brands. It also makes products for feminine care, baby care and incontinence. The company has 13 production bases across mainland China, Taiwan and Malaysia, its website shows. Swedish personal care product maker Essity said in April it has put its 52% stake in Vinda under strategic review.