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Dutch firm tables S$1.45b takeover bid for Super Group

SINGAPORE — Just months before its 30th anniversary, homegrown coffee brand Super Group — which pioneered 3-in-1 instant beverages — has received a potential S$1.45 billion present in the form of a takeover bid from Dutch company Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE).

OWL is one of the brands under Super Group. Photo: Super Group

OWL is one of the brands under Super Group. Photo: Super Group

SINGAPORE — Just months before its 30th anniversary, homegrown coffee brand Super Group — which pioneered 3-in-1 instant beverages — has received a potential S$1.45 billion present in the form of a takeover bid from Dutch company Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE).

Analysts said the all-cash offer of S$1.30 a share, which is 34 per cent more than Super’s share price on Oct 31 before it was halted from trading, is a “rich premium” that speaks well of Super’s standing in the market and which could ignite similar interest in other F&B companies.

““It’s a good buy for the European boys … It’s one of the biggest stories today because of the premium. It shows that Super Group is a specialised niche player that has done a good job and highlights that there are a lot of strategic buyers looking to come in,” said Mr Nicholas Teo, Trading Strategist at KGI Securities (Singapore).

“If Super is valued like this by such a big player, then it brings back focus on similar F&B groups selling consumer goods.”

Shares of Super surged 30 per cent to close at S$1.26 after trading resumed yesterday, extending its gains this year to 49.4 per cent.

Founded in 1987, Super is a leading pan-Asian instant food and beverage manufacturer with a portfolio of more than 160 products distributed in over 65 countries, and with 15 factories in China, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

In 2013, Super entered Forbes Asia’s honour roll of Asia-Pacific’s best 200 companies with under US$1 billion (S$1.39 billion) in annual sales.

JDE is a global coffee and tea company with a presence in more than 100 countries, and this year added Krispy Kreme Doughnuts to its empire in a US$1.35 billion deal.

“The partnership with JDE … would be highly complementary to the already well-loved brands that we have. We wanted a partnership that could build on the legacy that we have built sachet by sachet,” Mr Darren Teo, Executive Director of Super Group, told TODAY.

“Super Group has strong brand equity and loyal customers in Asia, and this deal marks a new phase of growth for the company, as it allows us to be part of a larger, global and renowned organisation under JDE.”

JDE’s offer is dependent on receiving more than 50 per cent of voting rights and regulatory approval. JDE will make a compulsory offer for the rest of the company and delist it if acceptances reach at least 90 per cent.

Shareholders with a combined 60 per cent stake in Super have already irrevocably undertaken to tender all of their shares in acceptance of the offer.

The offer represents one of the highest premiums paid in recent Singapore public market takeover history, said Mr Keith Magnus, the CEO of Evercore Asia (Singapore), Super’s financial adviser.

Said Ms Pan Jingyi, market strategist at IG: “With Super being one of the leading companies in the region for the sector, the 34 per cent premium over the Oct 31 pre-halt price is a strong indication that JDE sees the company as a good point of entry into the Asia market. Growth will be two-ways for the deal, with Super likely to benefit from having the access to a global network, in addition to opportunities for further internationalisation beyond Asia.

“In the slow-growth environment, market players are certainly looking to diversify their portfolio. In JDE’s case, their interest in Super shows that Asia remains attractive as a region for the coffee and food business.”

Super’s shareholders include Yeo Hiap Seng, with a stake of about 11.7 per cent.

In a separate statement yesterday, Yeo Hiap Seng said the company will tender its shares and expects to realise a gain of about S$138.35 million.

“I think the deal will pass because it is such a rich premium,” said KGI’s Mr Teo. Additional reporting by Toh Ee Ming

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