* Hygiene arm attracts 200 bln crown bid -newspaper
* Shares in SCA jump as much as 9.8 pct
* Group has been planning to list hygiene arm
* UBS values business 193 bln crowns to 213 bln crowns
(Adds detail, analyst and bank valuations, comment)
By Johannes Hellstrom
STOCKHOLM, April 13 Shares of Sweden's SCA
touched a record high on Thursday on a media report
that a group of private equity firms had bid 200 billion crowns
($22.3 billion) for its hygiene products arm, a top global
producer of diapers and toilet paper.
Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, citing unnamed sources, said
at least two international private equity firms had jointly bid
for the hygiene business a few weeks ago. It did not name the
Last week SCA formally approved a proposal to spin off its
hygiene products business, to be called Essity, as a separately
listed unit, leaving the forestry business under the SCA name.
SCA, the world's largest maker of incontinence pads and the
second largest in consumer tissues such as napkins and toilet
paper, declined to comment on the bid report.
The hygiene business accounts for the bulk of SCA's value.
The report did not say whether the 200 billion crown figure
represents the suitors' basic valuation or total enterprise
value, which also includes debt.
Private equity buyers often cite enterprise value when
Handelsbanken Capital Markets analyst Karri Rinta said a 200
billion crown price tag for the business would represent a good
price for SCA but would be "pretty uninteresting" to
shareholders if it referred to enterprise value.
Analysts at investment bank UBS and Handelsbanken Capital
Markets estimate the hygene operation's worth at between 193
billion crowns and 213 billion crowns.
The business had 31 billion crowns of long-term debt as the
end of 2016, according to a statement this week.
SCA shares jumped as much as 9.8 percent to a record high
early on Thursday before closing the shortened trading day with
a gain of 7.8 percent, the top performer in the STOXX Europe 600
SCA has said it aims to list Essity as soon as possible and
no later than the second half of 2017.
Investor interest in SCA has increased since it announced
the spin-off plan last August, with several media reports of
planned bids for its forestry arm.
Essity counts U.S. companies Procter & Gamble and
Kimberly-Clark among its main rivals.
Its leading brands include Plenty kitchen roll, Libero baby
diapers and Tena incontinence care products, with diaper sales
growing in emerging markets and incontinence pads increasingly
in demand among ageing populations in wealthy nations.
Roger Bostrom, a union representative on the SCA board, said
he was unaware of any bid. "I have not seen anything, heard
anything, and I have no comment," he told Reuters.
A banking source said he did not expect one of Essity's
rivals to make a bid, adding that Procter & Gamble would face
antitrust problems and that Kimberly-Clark had already exited
parts of its European business some years ago.
Essity, with sales of 101 billion crowns last year, accounts
for 86 percent of total group sales. The division made an
adjusted operating profit of 11.8 billion crowns.
The SCA group had an overall market value of 194 billion
crowns at Wednesday's market close.
SCA agreed in December to buy German bandage and plaster
cast maker BSN Medical for 2.74 billion euros. The new
acquisition form parts of Essity's business.
($1 = 8.9859 Swedish crowns)
(Additional reporting by Anna Ringstrom and Bjorn Rundstrom in
Stockholm and Martinne Geller in London; Editing by Mark
Bendeich, Jason Neely and David Goodman)