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December 20, 2008

Singapore firm cancels sale of publishing unit

Singapore conglomerate Fraser and Neave said on Friday it had decided not to proceed with a sale of its print and publishing business because of adverse market conditions, reported Reuters.

Reuters quoted the company as saying in a statement market conditions meant potential purchasers encountered difficulties securing funding, amid a credit crisis that has dampened deal making globally.

Private equity companies 3i Group and CVC Capital were among the bidders for the printing and publishing business that could have sold for at least $400 million, sources told Reuters in August.

The unit includes Times Bookstores in Singapore and Malaysia, and accounts for about 10 percent of group revenue.

The conglomerate, which brews beer, runs shopping malls and prints magazines, in June announced a strategic review of its printing and publishing businesses and hired Morgan Stanley to advise it.

"The Group will continue with actions to increase sales in strategic and growth markets," the firm said in the statement, without giving details.

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