Jakarta. Anthoni Salim, one of Indonesia's richest men, has scored a narrow win for approval from minority shareholders at Hongkong listed First Pacific Company that clear the way for his $3 billion acquisition deal.
Under the deal, Anthoni's Jakarta-listed instant noodle maker Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur will acquire Pinehill Company, which makes and distributes Indofood noodles in Afrika and the Middle East, from Pinehill Corpora and Steele Lake.
Anthoni indirectly owns 49 percent shares of Pinehill Corpora, which in turn controls 51 percent shares of Pinehill Company.
The fact that Anthoni would stand to gain at both ends of the deal has prompted some shareholders at Indonfood CBP's controlling entity, First Pacific, to take an issue with the acquisition plan.
An unnamed shareholder even told Reuters that Indofood CBP could overpay by $1 billion for the deal. On the other hand, First Pacific's independent financial advisor, Somerley Capital, said at 23 times earnings, Pinehill's valuation was lower than the average of ten comparable instant noodle companies, which that valuation stood at 26.2 times of their earnings.
The shareholders went to a vote deciding the deal on Friday. Although owning the controlling 44.3 percent shares in First Pacific Company, Anthony did not vote as Hong Kong regulation barred him or his affiliates from casting due to their conflicting interest.
Still, 52 percent of the remaining votes were for the Pinehill acquisition.
"The acquisition by Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur of the entire issued share capital of Pinehill Company Limited from Pinehill Corpora Limited and Steele Lake Limited for an aggregate consideration of $2,998 million be and are hereby approved, confirmed and ratified," First Pacific said in a statement on Friday.
Indofood CBP share price fell 3.13 percent to close at Rp 9,275 a share at Indonesia Stock Exchange, following the news.
The company, which is the world's largest noodle maker, said earlier that it plans to use $300 million from its internal cash fund a part of the acquisition while using loans to pay for the remainder. Indofood CBP also said that Pinehill acquisition could boost the company's annual sales and net income by 20 percent.
It is now up to the Indofood CBP shareholders to approve the acquisition. And unlike Hong Kong, no rule in Indonesia will prevent Anthoni from casting his vote.