HONG KONG (From news reports) - Hong Kong-based tissue and diaper maker Vinda International held management presentations in the last week for potential buyers of a majority stake owned by Sweden's Essity, three people with knowledge of the matter said.
The shortlisted bidders include Brazilian pulp maker Suzano, one of Vinda's main suppliers, said the people and a fourth person with knowledge of the transaction.
Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is looking to form a consortium to bid for Essity's stake, said one of the people.
Bain Capital and DCP Capital are also in the mix, said two of the people.
Essity kicked off the sale process for its 52% stake in Vinda in May.
Initial offers by the shortlisted bidders did not mark much premium to where Vinda's shares have been trading, said two of the people. A third source said some potential investors intend to value Vinda at $3 billion to $3.5 billion in the second round of bidding.
Essity's stake was worth about $1.47 billion as of Vinda's Wednesday close at HK$18.38 per share, or a market cap of HK$22.12 billion ($2.83 billion).
Essity, which is advised by Bank of America, has not given bidders a deadline for binding offers and final bidders could be picked after the management presentations, said two of the people, who all declined to be identified as the information was confidential.
Vinda's founder and chairman Li Chaowang, who owns 21% of the company via a holding firm he controls, has also retained a financial advisor during the sale process, said the people.
Li's interest could be implicated as a buyer of Essity's stake could trigger a general offer for the entire company, sources have said.
A spokesperson for Essity said the company is "in a process that is proceeding according to plan", but declined to comment further.
Vinda and Li did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Bank of America, Suzano, CVC, Bain and DCP declined to comment.
Founded in 1985, Vinda's core business segments include tissues, sanitary napkins and adult and baby diapers.
It has 8 brands and 13 production bases, 10 of which are in mainland China, according to the company's website.
Vinda in 2022 accounted for 16% of Essity's 156 billion Swedish crowns ($15.2 billion) turnover.
Its first-half net profit dropped 81.1% year-on-year to HK$121 million ($15.49 million) amid rising raw materials costs, while revenue grew 10.1% year-on-year to HK$10.07 billion.