Singapore investment company Temasek holdings has agreed to acquire a 24.95% stake in health & beauty retailer A.S. Watson for US$5.7 billion, according to a company announcement.
The deal values A.S. Watson at US$22.8 billion. A.S. Watson is owned by Asia’s richest man Li Ka-shing’s Hong Kong-listed investment holding company, Hutchison Whampo.
A.S. Watson will use part of the proceeds to pay a special dividend of HK$7.00 per share to its shareholders.
"The consumer retail sector is a good proxy to growing middle income populations and transforming economies," says Chia Song Hwee, Temasek’s co-head for China. "This is very much part of our investment themes as we shape Temasek’s portfolio for the long term."
A.S. Watson operates supermarket chain ParknShop and the health and beauty chain Watsons, among other brands. It has 10,500 stores operating 14 retail brands in 25 markets worldwide.