(Updates with SCA declines to comment, background, detail)
STOCKHOLM, April 13 (Reuters) - A group of private equity companies have bid around 200 billion Swedish crowns ($22.3 billion) for the hygiene arm of tissue and forestry products firm SCA, Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter said, citing unnamed sources.
Sweden’s SCA said last year it planned to split into two listed units, a hygiene products firm and a forestry company. The split was formally approved at the group’s annual meeting last week.
“At least two private equity companies together have bid around 200 billion crowns for the hygiene unit,” Dagens Nyheter said in a report that first appeared on its Web site on Wednesday night. The newspaper did not name the private equity firms.
SCA, which counts U.S. firms Procter & Gamble and Kimberly-Clark among its main rivals, declined to comment when contacted by Reuters on Thursday.
SCA hygiene business is the world’s largest maker of incontinence pads and the second largest in consumer tissues such as napkins and toilet paper. Its forestry arm produces paper, pulp and wood products.
The group, which has yet to complete its planned split, currently has an overall market value of 194 billion crowns.
Last year, SCA’s hygiene business accounted for 86 percent of the group’s total sales.
$1 = 8.9859 Swedish crowns Reporting by Simon Johnson and Johannes Hellstrom; Editing by Mark Bendeich