China’s Legend Considers Bid for Seafood Seller Iberconsa

(Bloomberg) -- Chinese conglomerate Legend Holdings Corp. is among companies considering bids for a majority stake in Spanish frozen-seafood seller Grupo Iberconsa, people familiar with the matter said.

The Beijing-based firm has been speaking with advisers about a possible offer, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the details are private. Pamplona Capital Management is also weighing a bid for Iberconsa, which could be valued at about 600 million euros ($698 million), the people said.

Deliberations are at an early stage, and there’s no certainty they will proceed with offers for the business, the people said.

Madrid-based private equity firm Portobello Capital bought a majority stake in Iberconsa in 2015. An acquisition of Iberconsa -- which sells wild-caught hake, monkfish and squid -- would allow Legend to expand the offerings of its food and agriculture unit Joyvio Group.

Legend formed KB Food, a joint venture with Australian fish seller Kalis Bros, in 2016. One of the conglomerate’s publicly-traded units, Joyvio Agriculture Development Co., bought Qingdao-based seafood importer Starfish last year.

A representative for Legend said he hasn’t heard of the transaction and declined to elaborate. A representative for Pamplona declined to comment, while representatives for Portobello and Iberconsa didn’t immediately reply to requests for comment.

Chinese acquisitions in Europe have roughly doubled this year to $49.2 billion, even as the Asian country’s dealmaking in the U.S. plunged amid tightened regulatory scrutiny. Last month, Legend completed the $1.8 billion purchase of a controlling stake in Banque Internationale a Luxembourg SA, one of Europe’s oldest privately held banks, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Legend, led by Chinese entrepreneur Liu Chuanzhi, is the biggest shareholder in Chinese laptop maker Lenovo Group Ltd. with a 29 percent stake, the Bloomberg-compiled data show. It also controls venture capital fund Legend Capital and buyout firm Hony Capital.

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