Nike Supplier, Asian Buyout Firms Are Said to Vie for Trimco

(Bloomberg) -- Chinese manufacturer Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings Ltd. will vie with regional buyout firms in the final bidding for Trimco International Holdings Ltd., a Hong Kong-based maker of garment labels that could fetch about $500 million, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Yue Yuen, which produces shoes for brands including Nike Inc. and Adidas AG, was among suitors shortlisted to make a binding offer for Trimco, according to the people. Asia-focused private equity firm Affinity Equity Partners Ltd. and Baring Private Equity Asia Ltd. were also chosen to proceed to the next round of bidding, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. 

Any deal would add to the $5.5 billion of announced apparel-related acquisitions in Asia this year, compared with $9.6 billion during the same period in 2016, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Trimco bought Danish competitor A-Tex A/S from Polaris Private Equity in 2015, the data show.

Trimco makes clothing care labels, woven labels, hang tags and radio frequency identification tags used for inventory management. It is majority owned by Swiss private equity firm Partners Group Holding AG, which bought control of the business in 2012. Trimco has production facilities in countries including China, India, Romania, Singapore, Thailand and the U.K.

A spokesman for Yue Yuen said he couldn’t immediately comment, while representatives for Baring and Partners Group declined to comment. Affinity Managing Partner KY Tang didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

A purchase of Trimco would be the biggest-ever acquisition for Yue Yuen, which has never spent more than $100 million on a deal apart from related-company transactions, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Shares of Yue Yuen have risen 0.7 percent in Hong Kong trading this year, giving it a market value of $6 billion. It runs factories in China as well as Indonesia, Mexico, Vietnam and the U.S., according to its website.

Baring’s portfolio companies include Cath Kidston, the U.K. vintage-style apparel and accessory brand known for its bright floral prints. A consortium including Baring agreed last month to buy Pearson Plc’s language-training business Wall Street English for about $300 million. Affinity Equity Partners reached a deal in August to buy control of Lock&Lock Co., a South Korean plastic food storage maker, for about 629 billion won ($580 million).

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