CJ Foodville will seek a private buyer for its bakery chain division Tous Les Jours after failing to get any bids in the final round of a public auction on Friday (November 6).

KG Group, JKL Partners, Affirma Capital and a consortium of NH Private Equity and Opus Private Equity participated in the preliminary round of bidding and a global private equity firm and GS Group were invited to buy the bakery chain, but none submitted bids in the closing round, industry sources said on Monday (November 9).

CJ Foodville had expected there might be a lukewarm response and its marketing efforts were focused on a possible private deal. The seller has reportedly started promoting the sale to some major global private equity firms and local conglomerates which operate restaurants or resort businesses.

“The seller is marketing the deal again to the pool of potential buyers which reviewed Tour Les Jours last year and new potential buyers at home and abroad,” said a source. “The seller plans to name its preferred bidder by the end of November.”

Some potential buyers said CJ Foodville might offload its other businesses along with Tous Les Jours, due to the bakery chain’s low attractiveness. However, it will be difficult for the company to select which businesses to sell, because unlike Tous Les Jours, its other divisions run their stores directly and have a lot of employees.

An industry source said the original focus was on whether the deal would involve other CJ Foodville brands like VIPS and Cheil Jemyunso, rather than Tous Les Jours itself. “As CJ turned down the possibility of the package deal and revealed financial statements of Tous Les Jours, potential buyers’ interest in the bakery chain has cooled off quickly.”

CJ Group has put the bakery chain on the market to offload its non-core businesses. CJ Foodville tried 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)