Standard Chartered Private Equity buys minority stake in Wilmar

Standard Chartered Private Equity has acquired a minority stake in Singapore-listed Wilmar Holdings, a large palm oil business group with operations in Malaysia and Indonesia.

The private equity arm of Standard Chartered Bank has invested S$72 million ($45.8m; €35.7m) for a 3.6 percent shareholding in Singapore-listed Wilmar International, a palm oil producer, the company said in a statement.

The transaction marks Standard Chartered Private Equity’s fourth investment in Southeast Asia, and its sixteenth deal since the bank allocated $500 million for private equity investments in 2002.

In compliance with Singapore listing regulations, Wilmar was obliged to place out 12 percent of its shareholding, after a reverse takeover, according to statements filed to the exchange. Standard Chartered bought 24 percent of the 375,000,000 shares that were offered at 80 Singapore cents a share.

Wilmar International is one of the largest palm oil refiners and crushers of copra and palm kernel in Asia, with 20,000 employees in its integrated operations in Malaysia and Indonesia, the key edible oil producing countries in Asia.

Karam Butalia, global head of private equity at Standard Chartered Bank said: “Wilmar is an excellent platform for us in the palm oil sector in that it has size, covers the entire value chain, and has the potential to become a substantial bio-diesel producer in the near future.”

At the end of last year, Standard Chartered invested in the management buyout of Sei Woo, a Singapore-based supplier of customised rubber products, with operations in China.