FRANKFURT, March 10 Diana Group, a French food
ingredient maker owned by private equity firm Ardian, has
attracted bids worth more than 1.2 billion euros ($1.7 billion)
including debt from Germany's Symrise and Japanese
seasoning maker Ajinomoto, the Financial Times reported
Symrise and Ajinomoto declined to comment on the report.
Ardian, formerly AXA Private Equity, was not immediately
available for comment.
Ajinomoto has sought growth through deals, taking a 50
percent stake in Turkish food company Kukre Gida for about 60
million Turkish lira ($27 million) in November.
Symrise, for its part, has recently raised its stake in
Swedish probiotics specialist Probi.
The paper cited people with knowledge of the talks as saying
private equity groups Blackstone and BC Partners
were no longer contenders for Diana.
Buy-out firms CVC Capital Partners, Euroazeo and Pamplona
remain in the race, the FT added.
France's Diana generated 415 million euros in revenue in
2012, making nutritional ingredients for the food, pet food and
Bankers prepared debt packages to finance the potential sale
of Diana, banking sources told RLPC last month.
($1 = 0.7214 euros)
($1 = 2.2055 Turkish liras)
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger and Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Mark