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Zuellig family scion said to be keen on selling Singapore-based feed firm Gold Coin for US$500m

Singapore

A SCION of Switzerland's wealthy Zuellig family is seeking to sell Gold Coin, one of the biggest animal feed manufacturers in Asia, for about US$500 million, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Peter Zuellig's closely held holding company, Golden Springs Group, could find a buyer for the Singapore-based business this year, according to the people. Gold Coin is likely to attract interest from international feed producers, one of the sources said, asking not to be identified as the process is private.

Rival animal feed producers PT Japfa Comfeed Indonesia and PT Charoen Pokphand Indonesia have each risen more than 20 per cent in Jakarta trading this year. Agriculture-related deals have more than doubled in South-east Asia in 2018 to hit US$1.1 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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The sector has been drawing private equity interest, with KKR & Co buying about 10 per cent of Japfa Comfeed in 2016. Affinity Equity Partners is planning an initial public offering for Malaysian poultry producer Leong Hup International this year, Bloomberg News reported earlier. Last year, KKR bought a US$150 million stake in Vietnamese animal-food producer Masan Nutri-Science Corp.

Gold Coin employs 2,600 people and runs 19 production facilities in nine countries, according to its website. The company, which was established in 1953, has a milling capacity of about 2.5 million tonnes a year.

Its livestock arm has annual revenues of about US$800 million, according to an undated presentation on a sister company's website. Gold Coin's aqua business, which makes shrimp nutrition products and owns shrimp genetics company SyAqua, has about US$90 million of sales, the presentation shows.

Deliberations are still ongoing, and Golden Springs Group has not made a final decision on the amount of stake to be offered, one of the sources said. It has also considered other options for Gold Coin, including partnerships or an initial public offering, according to the source. Golden Springs Group declined to comment in a statement.

Golden Springs Group's portfolio includes Regal Springs, a producer of farmed tilapia fish that supplies Costco Wholesale Corp and Kroger Co, its website shows. Zuellig is also a founder of Mumbai-based Parazelsus Ltd, which distributes pharmaceutical and veterinary products across South Asia. BLOOMBERG