Singapore's Etika sells dairies and packaging business to Asahi unit

SINGAPORE - Etika International Holdings, a Singapore Exchange Catalist-listed maker of sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk, has agreed to sell its dairies and packaging business to Asahi Group Holdings Southeast Asia.

It will sell to Asahi the shares and intellectual property of 12 subsidiaries for a total price of US$328.8 million (S$410.2 million), Etika said in a filing to the Singapore Exchange on Thursday.

The proceeds of the sale will be used to pay bank borrowings, grow the group's remaining businesses and take advantage of other business opportunities.

Etika is also considering options to distribute part of the proceeds to shareholders, it said.

The buyer is the Singapore subsidiary of Asahi Group Holdings, a Japanese company that produces alcoholic drinks and other beverages and food.

Etika said the deal "provides a good opportunity for the group to unlock value in the business and consequently maximise returns to its shareholders".

The company added: "The board is of the view that the consideration offered represents an attractive price for the value of the group's dairies and packaging business."