KKR signs Vietnam's top private equity deal with $200 million Masan Consumer buy

HONG KONG Tue Jan 8, 2013 8:30pm EST

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HONG KONG (Reuters) - U.S. buyout giant KKR & Co LP (KKR.N) has invested an additional $200 million in Vietnam's noodle and fish sauce retailer Masan Consumer Corp in the largest single private-equity investment in the Southeast Asian country.

KKR did not disclose details of how much of Masan Consumer it holds after its latest purchase of primary and secondary shares. KKR, which manages more than $66 billion in assets globally, bought a 10 percent stake in Masan Consumer through a $159 million investment in 2011 in what was then the biggest private equity deal in Vietnam.

Masan Consumer is a private unit of Ho Chi Minh City listed Masan Group Corp MSN.HM, one of Vietnam's largest private sector business groups with interests from mining to banking and which has a market value of $3.6 billion.

Other investors in Masan Group Corp companies include TPG Capital TPG.UL and Mount Kellett Capital, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.

Masan Group had planned an up to $1.5 billion Singapore listing in 2012 or early 2013, but the plans were put on hold as markets became choppy.

KKR on Tuesday also said it has increased its stake in Singapore listed Chinese water recycling firm United Envirotech Ltd, injecting $40 million. [ID:nL4N0AD6QK] A source familiar with the matter said that new investment, on top of a previous $113.8 million deal, had taken KKR's stake in UEL to around 44 percent.

The two investments come as KKR nears a close on its new $6 billion pan-Asia fund, the largest-ever raised for the region.

(Reporting by Stephen Aldred; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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