(Refiles to fix typographical error in 9th paragraph)
FRANKFURT, March 28 Buyout group CVC is
launching the sale of German metering group Ista, a deal
potentially worth up to 4 billion euros ($4.3 billion), people
close to the matter said.
The investor plans to send out first information packets on
the company around Easter, setting in motion what could become
Germany's largest sale of a private equity portfolio company
this year, they added.
Pension funds, insurers and infrastructure investors are
expected to show interest in the group, they said, adding that
bidders were likely to form consortia given the size of the
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, which already owns a
minority stake in Ista, is tying up with Borealis to make a bid,
while Allianz, the Government of Singapore Investment
Corp and Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, are also likely to show
interest, they added.
Ista posted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and
amortisation of 364 million euros on sales of 843 million in the
12 months through end-September 2016.
It is expected to reap a valuation of more 10 times its 2017
expected core earnings, the sources said.
CVC and its sell-side advisor Goldman Sachs declined
to comment. The prospective bidders also declined to comment or
were not immediately available for comment.
Before placing bids, potential buyers are awaiting a sector
analysis on the metering industry by Germany's competition
authority, which is expected to be published at the end of
April, the sources said.
However, the report is not expected to challenge Ista's
business model, they added. The cartel office declined to
The bidders will also weigh potential bids against the
possibility of an investment in Ista peer Techem, which
Australian infrastructure investor Macquarie is
expected to put on the market at the end of the year, the
($1 = 0.9210 euros)
(Reporting by Arno Schuetze and Alexander Hübner; Editing by