Affinity sells Primo stake for $1.2bn

The Asia Pacific-focused private equity firm has exited the Australian meat processor it acquired in 2011.

Affinity Equity Partners, the Asian private equity spin-off of Swiss banking group UBS, has exited Primo Group, an Australian delicatessen meat producer. The firm has sold its 70 percent stake to JBS Australia, an Australian meat processor.

The stake is being sold for A$1.45 billion ($1.2 billion; €0.98 billion) at a return of nearly 96 percent on the purchase price of A$740 million in 2011.

Primo Group’s founder Paul Lederer and his family will retain a 30 percent stake.

JBS will play an important role in the expansion plans of Primo Group because the meat processor operates a distribution network across 80 countries, according to the press release.

Affinity has invested in agriculture before; last year it bought a 40 percent stake in Beijing Sunlon Livestock Development Co. It is also invested in Tegel Foods, a New Zealand poultry producer, and Pulmuone Foods, a South Korean fresh food provider.

“Affinity’s investment and knowledge of regional markets has helped to make the business even stronger with a growing export operation, investment in state-of-the-art plant operations and expansion into New Zealand,” said Brett Sutton, Australia head at Affinity in a statement.

The transaction is subject to approval by Australia’s investments regulator, Australian Securities and Investment Commission, owing to the size of the deal.