Australia's Treasury Wine Estates is opening its books to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co after the private equity giant hiked its takeover offer to $3.15 billion, raising the prospect of a bidding war for the world's No.2 winemaker.
Treasury, which rejected a $2.9 billion unsolicited bid from KKR and Rhone Capital in April, said the 10.6 percent rise in the offer price meant it was now "in the interests of shareholders to engage further."
Asia's growing appetite for wine, the value of Treasury's Penfolds label and an ongoing restructuring are helping turn perceptions of the company's prospects around after a horror 2013 saw profits slump 38 percent in the six months to February.
China's Bright Food Group, France's Pernod Ricard and the world's biggest wine maker, U.S.-based Constellation Brands, have all been mooted as potential buyers of Treasury.
"Absolutely there are (rival bidders), they've now kind of set a starting point for the price," said Shannon Rivkin, director at Rivkin Securities. "This is going to be the point now where anyone who has any interest will be able to have a look at the books as well."