China Bright Food to buy Manassen for $516 million EV: source

HONG KONG (Reuters) - China's state-owned Bright Food Group has agreed to buy Australian branded food business Manassen Foods, giving it an enterprise value (EV) of over A$500 million ($516 million), a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Sunday.

Bright Food is buying 75 percent stake in Manassen, which is being sold by CHAMP Private Equity. The deal will mark Bright's biggest ever overseas acquisition, the person said, after missing out on some offshore transactions in previous few attempts.

Existing shareholders and management will continue to own the rest of Manassen Foods, the source added.

The source said an announcement is expected as early as Tuesday after the two companies formally sign the deal on Monday. CHAMP, an Australian buyout fund, acquired Manassen Foods in 2006. It owns Sunbeam and Angus Park dried fruits and Margaret River Dairy.

The source declined to give Manassen's equity value, but including debt Manassen will have a total value of more than A$500 million.

Food Holdings Pty, the parent of Manassen Foods, had earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of A$50.4 million for the 12 months ended June 2010, according to company accounts.

The source declined to be identified as the deal was not public yet. Bright Food and CHAMP could not be reached for an immediate comment.

(Reporting by Denny Thomas; Editing by Mike Nesbit)