Blackstone, TPG place final bids for Australia chicken producer -sources

HONG KONG, March 7 Thu Mar 7, 2013 5:15am EST

HONG KONG, March 7 (Reuters) - U.S. private equity firms Blackstone Group LP and TPG Capital have placed separate final bids for Australia's largest poultry producer, Inghams Chicken, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

The bids could value the privately-owned company at around A$800 million ($821 million), a separate source said.

Ahead of Thursday's deadline, Blackstone and TPG both submitted final bids backed by bank financing, with Blackstone tapping funding from U.S. markets and TPG using a consortium of commercial banks, the sources added.

Bob Ingham, the sole shareholder of Inghams Enterprises, which owns the Ingham Chicken brand, put the poultry producer up for sale in July last year, and hired Investec Bank to run the sale process.

Blackstone and TPG did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment. A call to Ingham's Sydney office was not answered. The sources could not be named as details of the deal were not public.