Apple Leisure has three bidders through to final round, including Fosun and Tempus

Provided exclusively by Mergermarket

Three bidders have made it through to the final round of the sale of Apple Leisure, the US-based Bain Capital portfolio company, three sources briefed on the situation said.

The final bidders include Fosun Group and Shenzhen-based conglomerate Tempus Group, they said. A US-based private equity firm rounds out the list, the first source noted. The sellers are expected to select a preferred bidder as soon as mid-November, this source said.

China National Travel Service (Hong Kong) (HKCTS) and Shanghai Jin Jiang International, which were previously reported by this news service to be pursuing Apple Leisure, are said to be no longer in the running, the source said. Parties have also been told that Carlyle Group is no longer in the race.

Jin Jiang didn’t respond to a request for comment. Carlyle declined to comment.

Established in 1998, Shenzhen-based Tempus Group is engaged in business services, modern logistics, fine wine exchange platform and operation of “Shenzhen (Futian) Internet Financial Industrial Park”. Its subsidiary Shenzhen Tempus Global Business Service [SZ:300178], which has a market cap of CNY 10.63bn (USD 1.57bn), provides airline transportation agent sale services.

Last year, Fosun launched a joint venture with UK-based Thomas Cook to expand into Asia. Thomas Cook offers travel and agent services primarily to European customers.

Apple Leisure is organized as a vertically integrated travel company in North America with travel agencies and tour operators with varying profitability and margin levels. The company serves customers in vacation destinations like Mexico, the Caribbean and Hawaii.

The company is working with Credit Suisse on the sale. Reuters reported in June that Apple Leisure was up for sale, estimating the company could be valued at more than USD 1.5bn, including debt.

Bain and Apple Leisure didn’t respond to request for comment as of press time.

by Ling Yang, Sophie Jin and Fei’er Wang in Shanghai

As seen in the mergermarket newsletter on 26/10/2016

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