Matahari Putra abandons $1bn sale, seeks partner

INDONESIA’S Matahari Putra Prima said it will retain its hypermarket business as a wholly owned entity, effectively scrapping a $1bn (£645m) sale plan, but will look for a global partner to expand the business.

The decision to retain the unit comes after two rounds of bidding for Matahari’s hypermart business, Indonesia’s second largest, which sources had said was aimed at raising $1bn.

The deal had generated interest from South Korea’s Lotte Shopping, French retailer Casino Guichard Perrachon, and Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer.

“One of the main reasons for Matahari to drop the sale is that the bidding price was lower than they expected,” said Ikhsan Binarto, an analyst at Indopremier Securities in Jakarta. “But the statement could also be an effort by the Lippo Group to get a better price by playing hard to get,” he added.