CJ Group is holding private talks with global private equity firms, including Carlyle, and will stage another limited competitive bidding after failing to attract any offers for bakery chain Tous Les Jours in the final round of a recent public auction.

Industry sources said on Wednesday (November 11) that CJ Group had invited several companies to take another look at the firm, which is a unit of CJ Foodville. It had expected a lukewarm response to the public auction and marketing efforts were focused on a possible private deal. 

Potential buyers, including Carlyle, are said to be studying CJ Group’s proposal that they make new bids. CJ Group had invited offers from foreign firms after its preliminary round of bidding, but later excluded them as certain conditions were not met.

“CJ Group showed its intention to invite foreign private equity firms to buy the bakery chain amid a lukewarm response,” said a source. “It will require a lot of effort to make the target appealing to potential buyers who had already been excluded from the deal.”

CJ Group plans to hold another limited competitive bidding by the end of this month. However, industry sources doubt that it will achieve a final round of bidding, as there are wide valuation gaps between the seller and potential buyers.

The bakery chain is on the market so CJ Group can offload its non-core businesses. CJ Foodville tried to arrange a private deal last year, but switched to a public auction in May. The sale process is being led by Deloitte Anjin. (Reporting by Ik-hwan Choi)

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